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Skymark Airlines starts 1st regular international flights between Narita and Saipan

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for Skymark Airlines Inc.'s first regular international flight, connecting Narita Airport and Saipan, is seen on Nov. 29, 2019. (Kyodo)

CHIBA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Skymark Airlines Inc. said Friday it had begun its first regular international flight, connecting Narita airport near Tokyo and Saipan, as the once-bankrupt airline continues reform efforts.

    Skymark, the sole carrier to run direct flights between Japan and the island, will operate one round-trip flight a day.

    The carrier is looking to boost businesses overseas, as it has been pushing ahead with restructuring after filing for court protection in 2015 in fierce competition with low-cost carriers.

    The airline reported record sales for the fiscal year through March 2019 and last month filed for the relisting of its shares on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

    The revamp operations of Skymark, established in 1996, have been supported by its sponsors, including ANA Holdings Inc., parent of Japanese airline All Nippon Airways Co., and equity firm Integral Corp.

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