Pinnacle Airlines Corporation prepares to exit Chapter 11 with new agreements, will phase out its 140 CRJ200s in the next 2-3 years

Pinnacle Airline Corporation (Pinnacle Airlines) (Memphis) today issued the following statement:

Pinnacle Airlines Corporation announced today that it and its wholly owned subsidiaries have entered into comprehensive agreements that, among other things, provide a path forward for the Company to emerge from bankruptcy with a competitive cost structure and a viable long-term business plan. Under Pinnacle’s new business plan, the Company will transition its fleet to operate a fleet of 81 fuel-efficient, two-class regional jets for Delta Air Lines Inc.

The comprehensive agreements among Pinnacle, Delta, the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (Creditors’ Committee) in Pinnacle’s Chapter 11 cases include:

  • An amendment to the Company’s existing debtor-in-possession credit facility, to provide Pinnacle with $30 million of additional liquidity to support its continued operation through emergence from Chapter 11 and an additional $22 million to fund certain required payments to Pinnacle’s pilots under a Bridge Agreement and related employer taxes. The amendment would also extend the maturity date for the credit facility from April 1 to May 15, 2013.
  • Amendments to the existing operating agreements with Delta that form the basis of the new business plan. Pinnacle will receive Delta Connection’s next 40 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft awarded, setting Pinnacle’s long-term fleet plan at 81 CRJ900 aircraft. The 40 additional CRJ900 aircraft deliveries are planned to begin in the fall of 2013 and are expected to be completed by year-end 2014. Pinnacle’s 140 Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft will be removed from operation over the next two to three years.
  • A Bridge Agreement that provides transitional payments, furlough benefits and specified career opportunities at Delta to Pinnacle’s pilots in conjunction with the recently negotiated letter of agreement between Pinnacle and ALPA.
  • A letter of agreement to amend Pinnacle’s collective bargaining agreement with the ALPA pilots. This letter of agreement and the Bridge Agreement are subject to ratification by the ALPA membership by Jan. 15, 2013.
  • A restructuring support agreement among Pinnacle, Delta and the Creditors’ Committee setting forth certain principal terms for a plan of reorganization to emerge from Chapter 11. The reorganization plan will provide for Delta or an affiliate to acquire the equity in the reorganized Pinnacle Airlines Corp. after it emerges from bankruptcy. Pinnacle must file a plan of reorganization acceptable to Delta and the Creditors’ Committee by February 15, 2013.

Pinnacle filed motions with the Bankruptcy Court seeking approval of the various components of the comprehensive agreements. All of the components of the comprehensive agreements are interdependent and are subject, among other things, to Court approval.

Copyright Photo: Fernandez Imaging. With the CRJ200s being retired, Pinnacle Airlines will concentrate on the larger CRJ900 in the future with its Delta Connection contract. Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) N176PQ (msn 15176) lands at Houston (Hobby).

Delta Connection-Pinnacle Airlines: AG Slide Show

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