Saturday, July 19, 2003

Ansett files
$110 million
claim against
Hawaiian Air

Ansett Worldwide, the only one of Hawaiian Airlines' three aircraft lessors to have its restructured agreements approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court, has filed a proof of claim seeking more than $110 million in damages.

The Seattle-headquartered lessor, which agreed to modify its leases following the airline's Chapter 11 reorganization filing on March 21, said it will suffer losses of more than $91.1 million for modifying its agreements on the seven Boeing 767s it has leased to Hawaiian on 18-year contracts. In addition, Ansett said it likely will experience a loss of $18.9 million as a result of the rejection of a 767 that was due for delivery to Hawaiian in May.

Ansett's proof of claim, although necessary to be filed by creditors, occurred early in the reorganization process. Normally, the court asks creditors to file such claims after a plan of reorganization is filed and a disclosure statement provides the financial condition of the company.

Ansett revealed in its proof of claim that Hawaiian was paying $575,000 a month to lease three of the 767s and $585,000 monthly for the other four planes. The discrepancy in the prices was due to the timing of the start of the leases.

Under the modified agreement, which includes incremental rent increases, Hawaiian now will pay Ansett $375,000 a month for the first 15 months, $425,000 a month for the next 45 months, $475,000 a month for the following 36 months, and $525,000 a month for whatever time is left in the respective contracts.

Ansett said the $18.9 million in damages it is suffering from the rejection of the one aircraft includes about $1.2 million for two months of down time. It also includes costs associated with remarketing the aircraft, such as interior reconfiguration, paint and legal fees; costs associated with buyer-furnished equipment, which could include seats and the entertainment system; galleys and laboratories; and the difference between the present value of the rent in the rejected lease and the income it would have provided during the length of the contract.

In another development, Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Faris approved yesterday a third 30-day extension with lessor International Lease Financial Corp. for Hawaiian to complete the restructuring of its leases on four 767s. The new extension expires Aug. 31.

Boeing Capital Corp.'s lease on 13 Boeing 717s and three 767s is due to expire July 31 and no extension agreement has been reached.

However, Boeing Capital spokesman Russ Young said yesterday "we don't think an extension will be a real issue."


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