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America West Declines ATA Assests Opportunity

America West Holdings
Corporation , parent company of America West Airlines, Inc., today
announced it does not plan to submit a bid to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to
purchase ATA Holdings Corp. . America West had previously announced it was
considering acquiring ATA through that airline’s Chapter 11 restructuring
process. America West Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said, “We
have stated from the beginning of this process that we would not proceed
with any transaction that would put undue risk on America West’s
employees, customers or stockholders. While we believe there is some value
in a combined America West/ATA operation, we do not believe the potential
value justifies the anticipated cost.

“Our interest in ATA encompassed acquiring the entire company as opposed
to only a few select assets, which meant we needed most of the aircraft
and employees to stay with the company. During this process we found we
were able to attract sufficient capital to support a competitive bid and
we are grateful to our partners for their offers of support. We
particularly appreciate the support we received from the employees of ATA.
We are hopeful that whoever ends up owning ATA will recognize the value of
this dedicated and experienced workforce. Unfortunately, we were unable to
come to acceptable lease terms on enough aircraft with ATA’s existing
aircraft lessors.

“We feel very good about the decision to refrain from this bidding
process. As the nation’s second largest low cost carrier we are well
positioned for long-term success in a rapidly evolving airline
environment. Because our current aircraft orders satisfy our near-term
growth plans, we are not compelled to stretch to find places to fly. We
feel confident there will be future growth and acquisition opportunities
for America West as our industry evolves. While we have chosen to pass on
this particular transaction, we look forward to playing a role in the
continued consolidation of the airline industry.”