State of the Airlines

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

NEWS: Independence Air Get Financing Deals

It would seem my thoughts concerning Independence Air's ability to avoid bankruptcy were a little premature. Flyi, the parent company for Indy Air, has pulled a big re-financing deal out of their...uummmm...hat that should give them the ability to avoid Chapter 11. The deal is pretty complex for my financially impaired head but some of the key aspects include (a) returning 24 CRJ regional jets (leaves 58) and 21 of 30 J-41 turboprops while allowing them to take delivery of 6 new Airbus A319's (b) lots of payment deferrals and (c) lots of Flyi stock issued to the companies making the consessions

While its not being addressed directly I assume that all of this somehow takes care of the interest payments that Flyi missed at the end of January. The way I heard it Flyi had 30 days to take care of that problem or be considered in default on the financing.

Finally, it would seem that Independence Air has found a silver lining in this whole debacle. The carrier is still trying to re-shape itself from regional feeder for United into a low cost carrier. These latest deals, though made under duress, actually help push them closer to that low fare model. It allows the airline to rid itself of smaller regional type aircraft while continuing to pick up Airbus A319's, the current darling of the low cost carrier along with the Boeing 737. Nicely done.