America West Airlines , a
wholly owned subsidiary of America West Holdings Corporation, today
announced it has entered into an agreement to refinance its existing term
loan with Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. and certain other lenders. The
airline, which entered into the new term loan agreements with General
Electric Capital Corporation (GECC) on Sept. 10, 2004, raised $111 million
in the transaction, of which approximately $77 million was used to repay
in full its existing term loan and to pay certain costs associated with
the transaction. The remaining proceeds, approximately $34 million, will
be used for general corporate purposes. The airline also filed additional
information about these new term loans on Form 8-K with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. America West’s Chief Financial Officer Derek Kerr stated, “We are
extremely pleased to enter into this transaction, which provides
additional liquidity, extends debt maturity and frees up collateral.
Today’s transaction underscores the market’s confidence in our business
plan and our future, and helps position America West for future market
opportunities, should they arise.”
The airline’s new term loans are secured with the same spare parts,
rotables and aircraft engines that secured the Mizuho term loan. The
airline’s maintenance hangar in Phoenix, Ariz., which also secured the
Mizuho loan, is not part of the collateral for the new transaction.
Payments on the new term loans begin in March 2006 and run through 2010.
As a result, America West has increased its current cash position and
reduced its scheduled loan principal amortizations in 2005, 2006 and 2007
by $30 million, $25 million and $6 million, respectively.