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AMERICA WEST AIRLINES RECEIVES $53 MILLION DEBTOR-IN-POSSESSION FINANCING AND NAMES NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 AMERICA WEST AIRLINES RECEIVES $53 MILLION DEBTOR-IN-POSSESSION
 FINANCING AND NAMES NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS
 PHOENIX, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- America West Airlines (NASDAQ: AWAQC) announced that it has received funding from the company's recently approved $53 million debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing package and also introduced the composition of its new board of directors during a press conference held at the carrier's corporate headquarters.
 Michael J. Conway, chief executive officer of America West, said, "We are obviously pleased with the closing of this financing package and can now refocus our efforts toward developing an effective Plan of Reorganization to successfully emerge from Chapter 11." Conway noted that the DIP financing participants include GPA Group plc, a Shannon, Ireland-based aircraft leasing firm, Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services, an affiliate of Ansett Airlines of Australia, and a consortium of Arizona-based lenders. The chief executive officer added, "GPA and Ansett, both of whom have worked with America West since our beginning as an airline, have shown confidence through their continued support. The Arizona group of lenders have come together to demonstrate that business and government leaders see America West as a viable company and are working together with the airline toward the successful reorganization."
 Conway also announced America West's reconstituted 10-member board of directors. Included on the board are two former America West directors, four new directors from the Phoenix area, two representatives from GPA, one representative from Ansett and one unaffiliated director.
 The new America West board will be chaired by William A. Franke, owner and president of the financial services firm Franke & Co. Franke led the Arizona efforts in developing the consortium of lenders who contributed $8 million toward the DIP financing package. He is currently involved in several Phoenix-based businesses including Phelps Dodge Corp., Central Newspapers Inc., and currently chairs the special committee of directors overseeing the reorganization of the Circle K Corp. Franke was formerly involved in the restructuring of Valley National Bank.
 "This represents a successful conclusion to a very difficult process," Franke said. "The board of directors will now focus attention on developing a strategy to complete the successful reorganization of America West Airlines."
 The three other Phoenix area directors are Samuel L. Eichenfield, chief executive officer of GFC Financial Corp., Richard C. Kraemer, chief operating officer of UDC-Universal Development L.P., and John R. Norton III, former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and a well- known Phoenix businessman who has been involved in the restructuring of AZTAR (formerly Ramada) and Pinnacle West.
 The two returning directors are Conway and Arizona Public Service Chief Executive Officer O. Mark DeMichele. GPA group will be represented by Juan O'Callahan, who served on the America West board of directors during 1991, and Craig E. Coleman, vice president and general manager of GPA Capital Inc. Tibor Sallay, a member of the America West board from 1987 to 1991 has been re-elected to represent Ansett.
 The final member will be selected in the near term by the new board. This member will not be affiliated with any of the DIP lenders.
 Conway said, "The new America West board of directors is composed of a superb group of proven individuals with strong aviation, financial and business backgrounds." He continued, "I am confident that the direction provided by the new board will complement the leadership and skills of America West's management team. This kind of cohesive environment will only strengthen our ability to successfully reorganize America West."
 -0- 9/17/92
 /NOTE: Biographical sketches of the America West directors are available by calling 602-693-5729./
 /CONTACT: Daphne Dicino, senior director of corporate communications of America West, 602-693-5729/
 (AWAQC) CO: America West Airlines ST: Arizona IN: AIR SU: PER


EH-LS -- LA022 -- 0832 09/17/92 16:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 17, 1992
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