UPDATE - Boeing Capital seeks own Hawaiian Air plan
Wednesday February 11, 3:54 pm ET
By Kathy Fieweger
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CHICAGO, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Boeing Capital Corp. is seeking bankruptcy court approval of its own plan of reorganization for Hawaiian Airlines, a proposal that would restore one of the carrier's former chief executives and bring in $30 million of new equity capital.
Boeing Capital, along with BCC Equipment Leasing Corp. and Corporate Recovery Group LLC, seeks to put former CEO Bruce Nobles in charge of the airline, according to court documents.
Hawaiian Airlines, the Honolulu-based subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings (AMEX:HA - News) and Hawaii's largest carrier, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection nearly a year ago.
It now has 24 aircraft and operates 135 daily flights.
Shares of Hawaiian Holdings, which is not in bankruptcy protection, fell as much as 12 percent to a session low of $4.31 on the American Stock Exchange. In late trading on Wednesday, the stock was down 7.6 percent at $4.53.
Boeing Capital, the financing arm of airplane manufacturer Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA - News), is one of the airline's largest creditors. Boeing Capital, which leases 14 planes to Hawaiian Airlines, has at various points been unhappy with the restructuring's progress and succeeded in getting a trustee appointed to run the airline.
Nobles, a 35-year airline industry veteran, led the airline through a restructuring 10 years ago.
On a conference call, Boeing executives said they chose Nobles' plan because it was the best it had seen from various parties submitting proposals.
The Boeing Capital reorganization plan also contemplates a cash infusion from the investor group and the issuance of new warrants and subordinated notes to unsecured creditors, among other things. New lease rates for the planes have already been agreed upon.
Hawaiian Airlines leases 11 Boeing 717s and three Boeing 767s.
If the plan is approved, small unsecured claims will receive a cash distribution equal to 50 percent of their claims, Boeing Capital said.
Nobles said his mission would be to get the company out of bankruptcy as quickly as possible without additional concessions from employees.
Currently, Trustee Joshua Gotbaum is running Hawaiian Airlines. He is an investment banker who was appointed in July 2003. In January, he presented a proposed reorganization plan to creditors and union employees, but such a plan has not yet been filed with the court.
That plan included proposals to renegotiate aircraft leases and labor agreements to cut costs while preserving pilots' pension plans, according to a press release.
Late last year, Gotbaum sued former Hawaiian Airlines Chief Executive John Adams, his investment groups and the airline's parent company, seeking to recover $28 million paid to Adams and other shareholders and insiders.
"The ability to exchange notes for the larger unsecured claims really sets this plan apart," Nobles said. "Often, creditors receive only stock in the reorganized company."
Boeing's stock was up 1.9 percent at $44.41 in late New York Stock Exchange (News - Websites) trading on Wednesday.
Hawaiian just recently returned "2" leased 717's back to Boeing who in turn cleaned them up & painted them in Airtran colors. The reason for the return was Hawaiian's claim that the aircraft had a defective paint job. Hawaiian also closed the 767 crew base in SFO/LAX, pick up a new route to Australia.
Aloha, will pickup "2" more 737-700's in the summer, applied to fly to Washing DC & are expecting approval. Rumor has it that if they may look for an additional "2" more 737-700's. Aloha is making money, about two years ago all employees took a 10% cut in pay for 5 years to keep the company out of Bankruptcy that & with the loan have worked wonders for Aloha.