Mesa Files Chapter 11
Mesa Air Group filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday, saying it needs to reorganize and shed excess airplanes. The company, which provides regional service for US Airways and Delta, among others, has 130 aircraft, of which 52 are parked. The company said in its filing that it intends to dump another 25 aircraft, citing the cost of upkeep on the idled aircraft. "Our company has ample liquidity to support itself during this process and we are confident we will emerge from Chapter 11 an even stronger operation," CEO Jonathan Ornstein said in a statement. A total of 122 aircraft in Mesa's fleet are Bombardiers, mostly CRJs, and the company has 10 CRJ700s on order. Not all of the aircraft are paid for. Mesa owes Bombardier $130 million and that makes Bombardier the airline's second biggest creditor, behind Wells Fargo.
Bombardier officials say the potential loss of the 10-plane order will reduce its backlog by two months but they don't seem too worried about the bankruptcy filing. Bombardier spokesman John Arnone agreed the planemaker is exposed by the filing but said it can cover the shortfall if necessary. He actually seemed a little sympathetic. "We at Bombardier recognize that these are tough times in the aviation industry," he told the Canadian Press.