Skymark Airlines Launches Fleet With Boeing 767-300ER

Skymark Airlines (SKM) - Japan's first new airline in 35 years - today launched its fleet by celebrating delivery of its first jetliner, a Boeing 767-300ER (extended range). This aircraft is the airline's first of two airplanes to be leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC).

The all-white airplane carries the Skymark emblem on its tail: five yellow stars blazing against a white galaxy ring and midnight-blue backdrop. "This emblem represents the constellation Cygnus - the swan," said T. Nomura, vice president - Skymark Airlines. "The five stars symbolize the highest quality, and the ring signifies harmony and teamwork."

Skymark's General Electric-powered 767-300ER is the first 767 to receive type certification by the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB). This certification formally recognizes that this particular engine/airframe combination successfully passed the JACB's stringent testing and safety requirements and is ready to enter passenger service. This certification is part of a new Japanese law designed to certify Boeing airplanes for export to Japan.

With type certification, Japanese officials now have a certification process that more closely resembles the way the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Europe's Joint Aviation Authority (JAA) certifies jetliners. The 777-200 was the first Boeing airplane to receive JCAB certification.

Skymark Airlines will begin operation September 19 with three daily round-trip flights between Tokyo and Fukuoka, Japan. The airline plans to establish other domestic and overseas routes. Skymark's first 767 will seat 309 passengers in a two-class configuration.

Since its launch in 1978, investors and financiers have rated the Boeing 767 family as one of the world's most valuable airplanes in terms of reliability, lower operating costs and multiple market flexibility. To date, 828 767s have been ordered by customers worldwide.

Japan represents the largest international market for widebody airplanes.