Skymark May Order 15 Airbus A380s in International Expansion

Skymark Airlines Inc., Japan’s biggest low-cost carrier, said it may order as many as 15 Airbus SAS A380 superjumbos as it adds international flights.

The planes, which would be delivered from 2014, would fly to cities including London, Frankfurt and New York, President Shinichi Nishikubo told reporters in Tokyo today. The carrier plans to fit the superjumbos with 394 seats, divided between business and premium economy.

Skymark plunged 16 percent on Nov. 9 in Tokyo trading after first announcing plans to add A380s and challenge All Nippon Airways Co. and Japan Airlines Corp. on overseas routes. The carrier currently only flies scheduled domestic services using a fleet of 15 all-economy Boeing Co. 737 planes.

The airline has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus covering the purchase of four A380s, the planemaker said in a statement today. Skymark intends to buy two of the aircraft itself and to lease the other two, Nishikubo said.

The carrier intends for the A380s to be profitable in the first year of operation, he said. Future destinations will include Los Angeles, Honolulu, Melbourne and Rome, he said.

Skymark, which is listed on the start-up Mothers section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, fell 1 percent to 760 yen at the close of trading today. The airline announced its A380 fleet plans after the market closed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Cooper in Tokyo at ccooper1@bloomberg.net; Kiyotaka Matsuda in Tokyo at kmatsuda@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net

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