America West Holdings
Corporation and US Airways Group .today announced that they have received approval for their planned merger from
the Air Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB). Both America West Airlines
and US Airways hold loans backed by a federal guarantee from the ATSB. The
carriers have been in negotiations on the treatment of those loans under their
proposed merger. Pending final bankruptcy court and US Airways board approval
and upon close of the merger, the two airlines’ outstanding ATSB loan
guarantees will be consolidated with payments beginning September 2005 through
September 2010. Final terms are still being negotiated.America West Chairman and CEO Doug Parker stated, “We are grateful for
the Board’s unanimous endorsement of our proposed merger with US Airways.
Today’s announcement continues the positive momentum for our planned merger
and brings us one step closer to building a stable future for our airlines.”
“We appreciate the ATSB working closely with us to further our efforts to
restructure US Airways and preserve jobs while protecting the federal
government’s interests. Their action today will enable the new US Airways to
become a stronger and more viable airline,” said US Airways President and
Chief Executive Officer Bruce R. Lakefield.
In January 2002, America West Airlines, Inc. closed a $429 million loan
backed by a $380 million federal loan guarantee provided by the ATSB. The
current outstanding balance on this loan is $300 million. US Airways, Inc.
received a $900 million loan guarantee under the Air Transportation Safety and
System Stabilization Act from the ATSB in connection with a $1 billion term
loan financing that was funded on March 31, 2003. The current outstanding
balance of that airline’s loan is $708 million.