January 17 Airline News



[BR][SPAN][SPAN]U.S. Conditionally OKs Code-Share Deal Among 3 Airlines[/SPAN][/SPAN][SPAN][SPAN] [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]WASHINGTON -- The government Friday conditionally signed off on a marketing alliance and code-sharing agreement between Northwest Airlines Corp., Continental Airlines Inc., and Delta Air Lines Inc. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][A href=http://www.usaviation.com/idealbb/Complete%20Story:%20http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/030117/1638000522_1.html][FONT face=Times New Roman size=3]Complete Story: [/A][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Delta-Northwest-Continental]http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/030117/163800052...est-Continental Alliance Wins Conditional Approval[/SPAN][/SPAN][SPAN][SPAN] [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- Delta Air Lines Inc., Northwest Airlines Corp. and Continental Airlines Inc. won approval to form the largest U.S. carrier alliance, as long as they meet conditions such as giving rivals surplus airport gates and exempting some routes from the partnership. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Complete Story: [A href=http://quote.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?T=marketsquote99_relnews.ht&s=APiiSqhX4RGVsdGEt][SPAN]http://quote.bloomberg.com/fgcgi.cgi?T=marketsquote99_relnews.ht&s=APiiSqhX4RGVsdGEt[/SPAN][/A][/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Unions heed American's call for meetings[/SPAN][/SPAN][SPAN][SPAN] [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]DALLAS (Reuters) - Unions representing employees at American Airlines said on Friday they are willing to sit down at the table with management, a day after company leaders said there was no time to waste in coming up with a way to keep the financially strapped airline in business. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Complete Story: [A href=http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/030117/airlines_american_unions_1.html]http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/030117/airlines_american_unions_1.html[/A][/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Despite cutbacks, United preserves route network[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]WASHINGTON (USA Today) - After two horrible years, United Airlines is a much smaller company that makes almost a quarter fewer daily flights.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]But a more favorable comparison has drawn little notice: United still flies daily to 115 airports worldwide - almost as many places as it did at the end of 2000.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Complete Story: [A href=http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2003/2003-01-17-united-cuts.htm][SPAN]http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2003/2003-01-17-united-cuts.htm[/SPAN][/A][/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Ruling threatens unity of UAL creditors[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]CHICAGO (TheDeal.com) - A ruling by a Chicago judge Wednesday, Jan. 15, may make it more difficult for holders of certain UAL Corp. debt securities that are backed by aircraft leases to organize themselves and cut deals with the bankrupt airline as a group. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Judge Eugene Wedoff of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that while UAL has the right to get information on who holds debt securities called Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (EETCs), others don't have such access. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]General Foods Credit Corp., an equity investor in one set of aircraft lease-backed EETCs, had asked Wedoff for permission to get a list of all the other holders of those EETCs. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]General Foods has requested access to the same information UAL is seeking on the holders of EETCs. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]To invest in EETCs, an investor must put up 20% of the equity in a portfolio of aircraft leases that UAL uses to finance its fleet. The remaining 80% of the lease portfolio is financed with debt, according to William Rochelle of law firm Fulbright & Jaworski LLP in New York. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]EETC documents often prohibit both the airline that's leasing the planes and the holders of the EETCs from getting information on the identity of EETC owners, Rochelle said. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]UAL objected to General Foods' request for information on EETC holders because the company believes it will try to buy up the debt from those investors and have a blocking position when it comes to voting on a future reorganization plan, according to court documents. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]In a document filed with the court before Wedoff's decision Wednesday, General Foods said allowing UAL to access EETC ownership information without giving others the same privilege could have a chilling affect on future aircraft financing. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]A lawyer representing General Foods did not return calls by press time, but in the filing, General Foods said such a ruling would make any investor reluctant to take equity in such financings. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Billions of dollars of EETCs have financed UAL's acquisition of aircraft, but those securities are now presenting problems for the carrier as it tries to renegotiate many of the leases. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]UAL can't renegotiate the leases because it doesn't know the identity of the holders of all of them, leading the carrier to seek access to their names. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]According to filings, UAL has been unable to find out the identity of the so-called beneficial owners of the securities, which are widely held, even from the bond trustees or agents. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]UAL hopes to cut $1.2 billion in costs by renegotiating some of its aircraft leases. UAL has until Feb. 7 to reject old leases, and needs to renegotiate leases with their holders by that date. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]In a similar but unrelated development, UAL filed a motion Wednesday to force an informal committee of noteholders who claim to represent holders of $3 billion worth of EETCs to disclose how much of the debt is held by members of the panel. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Wedoff didn't rule on that request, since the parties requested more time to resolve their difference through talks.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]United Tidbit[/SPAN][/SPAN][SPAN][SPAN] - United CEO Glenn Tilton is meeting this week with union leaders to discuss his business plan for the airline's recovery. The plan will be presented to labor groups before United's next board meeting on Jan. 30.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Northwest to Put Airbus A330 in Service[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]CHICAGO (Reuters) - Northwest Airlines Corp.expects to put its first Airbus A330 wide-body jet into service by the fall of 2003 under a plan to eventually phase out older planes on transatlantic routes, a spokesman said on Friday.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Complete Story: [A href=http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/030117/airlines_northwest_2.html][SPAN]http://biz.yahoo.com/rb/030117/airlines_northwest_2.html[/SPAN][/A][/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Court Approves US Airways Disclosure Statement - Action Clears Way for Plan of Reorganization Vote by Creditors Nation's 7th Largest Airline Targets March 31 to Emerge From Chapter 11 As It Completes 'Fast-Track' Reorganization[/SPAN][/SPAN][SPAN][SPAN] [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]ARLINGTON (PRNewswire-FirstCall) - US Airways Group, Inc. today was given authorization by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Alexandria, Va., to solicit approval from its creditors on its plan of reorganization that provides for the airline's emergence from Chapter 11 protection in March 2003.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Complete Story: [A href=http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030117/dcf036_1.html]http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030117/dcf036_1.html[/A][/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN][/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][SPAN][SPAN]US Airways Employees Object to Stock Proposal - Workers Fear Effect on Retirement Money[/SPAN][/SPAN][SPAN][SPAN] [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]WASHINGTON (Post) - US Airways' proposal to render all of its existing common stock worthless as part of its bankruptcy reorganization drew protests yesterday from many former and current employees, some of whom said at a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing that it would be painful because they had funded their 401(k) retirement plans with US Airways stock. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Complete Story: [A href=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A4058-2003Jan16.html][SPAN]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A4058-2003Jan16.html[/SPAN][/A][/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]US Airways' fate lands in creditors' lap[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]PITTSBURGH (Tribune-Review) - The fate of US Airways and its 9,000 local workers now rests in the hands of 144,000 creditors who will vote on the bankrupt carrier's reorganization plan. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Complete Story: [A href=http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/business/s_113497.html]http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/business/s_113497.html[/A][/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]US Airways Express carrier Midway Airlines to Begin Nashville-Washington Regional Jet Service[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]ARLINGTON (PRNewswire-FirstCall) - US Airways Express will introduce new regional jet service in Nashville, Tenn., on March 10, 2003, and will provide three daily nonstop roundtrip flights to Washington Reagan National Airport, using 50-seat Canadair Regional Jets. US Airways Express carrier Midway Airlines will operate the new service, replacing the two turbo- prop flights currently operated on this route. [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Complete Story: [A href=http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030117/dcf020_1.html]http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030117/dcf020_1.html[/A] [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN][/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][SPAN][SPAN]US Airways cutbacks cut deep at airport - Passenger traffic down more than 20 percent in November[/SPAN][/SPAN][SPAN][SPAN] [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]PITTSBURGH (Post-Gazette) - For months, officials at Pittsburgh International Airport had been saying that passenger traffic last fall had no place to go but up after the heavy losses in 2001 because of the Sept. 11 attacks. [/SPAN][/SPAN][SPAN][SPAN]Instead, they watched traffic plummet even more.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Complete Story: [A href=http://www.post-gazette.com/businessnews/20030117airportp4.asp]http://www.post-gazette.com/businessnews/20030117airportp4.asp[/A][/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]US Airways Tidbits[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]United – US Airways Code-Share Updates[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]ARLINGTON (theHub.com) - US Airways has filed for both U.S. Department of Transportation and foreign government approval to code-share with United on routes to Japan, Hong Kong, and Belgium, and additional routes to and from the Netherlands. The filings are part of our efforts to expand the US Airways/United relationship.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Meanwhile, in “wave two†of our code-share implementation with United, more flights and routes will be open for sale beginning Monday, although the actual flights do not launch until Jan. 28. As a result, Monday's milestone will primarily affect Reservations and travel agents, who will begin to see more US* flights in the system, mostly out of United’s Denver hub. Code-share segments out of United’s Chicago O’Hare hub will remain, and new code-share service to Tucson, Ariz., will be available from both hubs. United will also begin to offer more code-share flights via US Airways' Pittsburgh hub. â€Wave one†of the code-share agreement began on Jan 7. With these additions, there will be 276 US Airways code-share flights operated by United and 185 United code-share flights operated by US Airways.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Simulator Update[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]In addition to removing seven A-320 family aircraft, reports indicate US Airways will sell two A-320 and one B-737 simulator.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]ALPA MEC code-a-phone update – January 17, 2003[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]This is Roy Freundlich with a US Airways MEC update for Friday, January 17, with two new items: [/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Item 1. The MEC, MEC officers, and Legislative Affairs Committee, in cooperation with U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum, are requesting that all US Airways pilots participate in a grassroots effort seeking a legislative solution to the pension plan issue. Senator Santorum attempted to introduce this legislation by unanimous consent into the Senate on January 9, but it was not accepted because of objections by two senators. It was then referred to the Senate Finance Committee, which handles all proposed legislation on revenue measures.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Therefore, we are requesting that pilots fax a prepared form letter to the each of the 21 members of the Senate Finance Committee, asking them to support and move forward legislation that will allow the Company to spread out the 3.1 billion dollars in funding requirements to the employee pension plans over 30 years, instead of seven years, which is the current term.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]A link to the Legislative Affairs Committee home page, which includes a prepared form letter and the names and fax numbers of the Senate Finance Committee members, has been placed under urgent messages on the pilots only website home page. Remember to address and to sign the form letter before faxing it to the individual members of the Committee. Please help to keep our message consistent by using the form letter.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]The MEC thanks you in advance for your participation in this very important effort.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][SPAN][SPAN]Item 2. The federal bankruptcy court today approved US Airways’ disclosure statement after a two-day hearing. This enables the plan of reorganization to be sent to creditors for a vote. It can still be changed to accommodate any concerns raised by creditors or the court at a later time. Resolving the pension plan issue and obtaining an ATSB loan guarantee are conditions of the plan of reorganization.[/SPAN][/SPAN][BR][BR][BR][BR][BR][BR][BR][BR]