GM Asks Court To Dump Jet Leases

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One of the first things General Motors did under bankruptcy protection is ask the court to allow it to shed seven business aircraft leases and the lease on the hangar that holds them at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. "The leases are not necessary or valuable to the debtors' business activities or the sale process," GM is quoted by Bloomberg as saying in filings to the court. Shortly after the widely publicized criticism of GM CEO Rick Wagoner and other car company CEOs for using business jets to travel to Washington, D.C., GM tried to dump the aircraft leases but were legally required to maintain some.

The bankruptcy changes all that and it will be the judge's call on whether the leases can be cancelled. The publicity surrounding the Washington trip became a lightning rod for criticism of business aircraft use in general and caused many companies not directly related to the issue to cut or curtail the use of their planes. It's prompted widespread response from aircraft organizations and manufacturers in the form of publicity campaigns aimed at reinforcing the value and utility of business aircraft.