Judge: GE Can Advance Money to US Airways



Reports indicate US Airways has reached a definitive agreement with Embraer for a large RJ order consisting of the EMB-170 and EMB-175 aircraft. US Airways has obtained delivery positions for later this year, the aircraft will be assigned to the new mainline MidAtlantic Airways division and will be financed by GECAS.

A formal announcement is expected if the company emerges from bankruptcy which is dependent upon reaching new labor accords, solving the pension problem, and qualifying for the federal loan guarantee.

Judge: GE Can Advance Money to US Airways
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal bankruptcy judge on Friday said he would allow General Electric Co. to provide $36.6 million to US Airways Group Inc. in a modification of a 2001 credit agreement.
GE''s advancement of the money, to help meet payments on a loan secured by 11 Airbus aircraft and engines, is part of a proposal for GE to acquire a 5 percent stake in a reorganized US Airways in return for loan concessions.
GE Capital Corp. and other GE entities will also offer equity financing to allow US Airways to acquire regional jet aircraft as part of a reconfiguration of its fleet.
Last week US Airways filed a reorganization plan with Judge Stephen Mitchell of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria.
The seventh-largest U.S. airline plans to reduce costs by about $1.8 billion a year and hopes to emerge from bankruptcy protection from creditors in March.
The court is due to hold a Jan. 16 hearing on the disclosures in the proposed reorganization plan.
US Airways filed for bankruptcy in August, its financial slide accelerated by the Sept. 11, 2001, hijack attacks on New York and Washington that have combined with a softer economy to curb air travel generally.
UAL Corp.''s United Airlines, the nation''s No. 2 carrier, filed for Chapter 11 protection earlier this month and is planning to emerge in 18 months as a leaner carrier.
[BLOCKQUOTE][BR]----------------[BR]A formal announcement is expected [STRONG]if[/STRONG] the company emerges from bankruptcy which is dependent upon reaching new labor accords, solving the pension problem, and qualifying for the federal loan guarantee.[BR]----------------[BR][BR][FONT face=System size=1]how much of a pay cut will those three things require? %40? [/FONT][BR][BR][BR][/BLOCKQUOTE]
In a December 21 Special Bulletin US Airways said, "The planned emergence of some or all of the company's subsidiaries is not necessarily tied to the planned March 2003 emergence of US Airways. Prior to emerging, the wholly-owned regional air carriers must reach agreements with their respective labor unions on competitive contracts that will allow for the transition to an all-regional jet fleet at each of the subsidiaries."

Mainline ALPA's new restructuring agreement provides for the wholly-owneds to operate 25 CRJ-700 aircraft, solely flown by furloughed US Airways pilots. In addition, the first 25 wholly-owned Medium and Small RJs (50-seats and below) will be flown by wholly-owned pilots.

Upon completion of staffing of these aircraft, the 50/50 balance of hiring pursuant to the Jets for Jobs Protocol will be followed.

Also noteworthy, GECAS has agreed to not only fund Embraer deliveries, but CRJ-700 and other Medium and Small SJ aircraft.

There are a couple of exceptions, but here are the RJ definitions:

Small RJ - up to 44 seats.

Medium RJ - no less than 45 seats and no more than 50 seats.

Large RJ - 51 to 70 seats; however, the MDA EMB-170 and EMB-175 can seat 76 passengers. Reports indicate these aircraft will come in a two-class configuration with the EMB-170 having 6 first class and the EMB-175 eight first class seats.