America West Holdings Corporation
(NYSE: AWA) today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, America West
Airlines, Inc., has completed the sale and leaseback of eight Airbus aircraft,
three flight simulators, and two spare aircraft engines, resulting in proceeds
of approximately $70 million to the airline.
“The passage of the Air Transportation Safety and Stabilization Act is
helping to restore the faith of the private financing markets,” said W.
Douglas Parker, chairman, president and chief executive officer. America West
Airlines has already received approximately $60 million from the U.S.
government in the initial installment of a federal grant to help stabilize the
nation`s airlines. “As a result of a combination of private financing and
federal grants, America West is in a much less precarious financial position
today than it found itself in following the tragic events of September 11.”
“We are clearly encouraged by our improved liquidity position and our
better-than-industry load factors announced last week,” added Parker.
“However, we have much more work to do. Our passenger loads, while improving
steadily, remain about 20 percent lower than historic levels even after
reducing our flight schedule. Until consumer demand for air travel increases
significantly, we must continue to control our costs, operate a smaller
airline and manage the company with a great deal of care.”
Parker said that the company has managed its cash flow since September 11
largely by reducing its flight schedule by about 20 percent and working
closely with its vendors and business partners to slow the rate at which cash
is drawn. He added that the company anticipates receiving significantly all
of the remaining $60 million federal grant in coming weeks, and that America
West intends to apply to the Air Transportation Stabilization Board for a