Judge Rejects Hawker 4000 Sell-Off

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A bankruptcy judge has rejected Hawker Beechcraft's bid to fire-sale its inventory of Hawker 4000 jets to raise some quick cash. The company was planning to dump the aircraft, the all-composite flagship of its jet roster, for as little as about 35 cents on the dollar until some existing 4000 owners stepped in to prevent their $20 million aircraft from suffering the same devaluation. Hawker Beech has 13 finished new 4000s, three in production and four used aircraft. The inventory clearance bid was part of a filing made by the company that also requested the court to allow it to abandon warranty and extended service plans on the 4000 and on Premier I and Premier IA jets. Hawker Beechcraft VP Shawn Vick outlined the warranty decision in a podcast interview at the 2012 NBAA convention in Orlando in October.

Hawker Beech said in its filing it wanted to dump the aircraft before more advanced competitors hit the market and make them harder to sell. Cessna and Embraer are both working on aircraft in the same class as the 4000 that offer new technology and are more efficient and are in the same price range. However, bankruptcy judge Stuart Bernstein wrote Monday that the company failed to make the case that immediately slashing the price was necessary. The owners committee argued that Hawker Beech has promised it will find someone to take over service and support of the jets and if it does that the aircraft can retain their normal used value. "This process will require a reasonable amount of time, not an accelerated process," the committee argued in its filing. "Thus, there is simply no reason to race to sell the Hawker 4000 inventory before those efforts play out."