Mesa Air Group emerges from bankruptcy

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Published: March 2, 2011

Mesa in US Airways Express livery. Photo: Courtesy, Mesa Air.

Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group exited Chapter 11 protection Tuesday just under 14 months after it declared bankruptcy.As was outlined in its plan of reorganization approved by a US bankruptcy court in January (ATW Daily News, Jan. 24), the regional now has a slimmed down operating fleet of 76 aircraft, reduced from at least 130 including about 50 grounded when it entered Chapter 11 protection (ATW Daily News, Jan. 6, 2010).

MAG said in a statement that through restructuring it eliminated “100 excess aircraft and associated leases and debt” that contributed $ 700 million in capitalized leases and $ 50 million in debt toward the deleveraging of MAG’s balance sheet. Chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein said, “Today marks a new beginning for Mesa, one that allows the company to build on its almost 30-year history and reestablish ourselves as one of the world’s leading regional airlines.”

He noted that “through the restructuring process Mesa is among the first regional airlines to address the risks associated with 50-seat regional jet aircraft which have increasingly fallen out of favor with mainline carriers. We believe the elimination of exposure related to this fleet provides Mesa with a significant competitive advantage.” MAG has said it will operate “primarily larger 70- and 86-seat regional jet aircraft” going forward.

The restructured company will operate around 450 daily system departures to 94 cities in the US and Mexico primarily under contracts with US Airways and United Airlines.

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