America West Submits Amended Application For Federal Loan Guarantees

10th Dec 2001

America West Airlines (NYSE: AWA) today
said it submitted to the Air Transportation Stabilization Board amendments to
its application for $400 million in federal loan guarantees under the
Air Transportation Safety and Stabilization Act, following discussions with
the Stabilization Board.  The requested assistance from the U.S. government
would be the catalyst for more than $1 billion in financial support available
to America West from key constituents and business partners.

“We are confident that America West`s application is now in a form that
can and should be approved,” said W. Douglas Parker, chairman, president and
chief executive officer.  “After a tremendous amount of work by, and helpful
negotiations between, the board`s staff, our lenders and our team, we believe
our submission demonstrates America West`s ability to comfortably repay the
loan under very conservative assumptions about economic and industry recovery,
and provides meaningful compensation for the loan guarantees.  We continue to
believe that the approval of America West`s application is in the best
interests of airline competition, the traveling public and the U.S. economy.”
On November 13, America West submitted an application to the Stabilization
Board, outlining its success as a post-deregulation carrier, its solid
financial and competitive position prior to September 11, a sound business
plan and nearly $600 million in concessions and contributions which would
result from the $400 million in loan guarantees.

The amendments to America West`s application include the following
significant changes:

* More conservative business model assumptions regarding the rebound of
      the U.S. airline industry;

* Total concessions and financial assistance—increased by
      $63 million—which now exceed $600 million;


* Significantly increased returns to taxpayers through higher fees and
      the inclusion of equity;

* An increase in the at-risk portion of the loan from $26 million to
      $45 million to reduce the government guarantee portion to less than
      90 percent of the $445 million loan.

America West`s amended loan application includes a revised seven-year
business model that continues to demonstrate that the loan can be repaid
ratably from 2005 to 2008 while the company retains comfortable cash balances.
Highlights of the model include:

Conservative industry recovery assumptions:  Despite a drop in airline
industry revenue per available seat mile (RASM) of more than 13 percent from
2000 to 2001, the model assumes that industry RASM will grow by only
3.9 percent in 2002.  This growth rate is the most conservative projected by a
survey of Wall Street airline analysts, whose 2002 RASM growth estimates range
from 3.9 percent to 18.6 percent and average 9.7 percent.  The America West
model assumes that industry RASM rebounds 10.5 percent in 2003 to a level
still slightly below the 2000 level.  From 2004 to 2008, the model assumes
industry RASM grows at a modest 2 percent per year.
Furthermore, despite steady improvement in America West`s RASM versus the
industry over the past few years, the model assumes America West RASM grows at
the same gradual rate as the industry with adjustments only for changes in
stage length and commuter airline feed.

Significant concessions:  Concessions negotiated by America West,
conditioned on approval of the loan guarantees, now total over $600 million
and include expense reductions and financings from aircraft lessors,
manufacturers, creditors, vendors and key state and local governments.

Ability to Repay:  Following from the assumptions about industry
conditions over the next two years, the business model projects continued
losses for America West in 2002 and a return to very modest profitability in
2003.  Even under more stable industry conditions projected for the 2004 to
2008 period, America West`s model projects lower operating margins than those
achieved by the company in the comparable period from 1995 to 1999.  Despite
this slow and gradual rebound to margins that are conservative compared to the
airline`s demonstrated ability to generate profits, the model projects the
loan to be repaid ratably between 2005 and 2008 with America West retaining
cash balances of more than $400 million.

Additionally, the revised application includes a significantly increased
compensation proposal for the loan guarantees including higher cash fees and
the addition of warrants to acquire approximately 3.4 million Class B shares
of America West Holdings Corporation.  The cash fee structure was designed to
mirror a private commercial loan America West had negotiated just prior to
September 11, and could result in cash payments of more than $175 million to
the U.S. Treasury.  The private transaction did not provide for any
concessions from America West`s business partners, nor did it include any
compensation in the form of equity.

“We are very satisfied with our application,” said Parker.  “The
Stabilization Board has been very diligent in its analysis of America West`s
business model and rightfully focused on negotiating an adequate return for
U.S. taxpayers.  Considering our previously demonstrated financial success,
our ability to comfortably repay the loan under very conservative assumptions,
and our willingness to provide market-based compensation for the requested
loan guarantees, we believe our application has set a high standard for
qualification under the letter and spirit of the Stabilization Act and



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