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Airline Finance News - North America.

For more airline finance news, data and analysis, please go to: http://www.airguideonline.com/professional.htm Jun 26, 2006

Re-regulation won't save airline pensions, GAO says. Re-regulating the US airline industry in order to avoid future pension defaults by airlines would reverse the benefits to consumers of deregulation "and would not save airline pensions," according to a new study by the US Government Accountability Office, the research and investigation arm of Congress.The study was undertaken at the request of the House of Representatives. After filing for Chapter 11 protection, United Airlines and US Airways defaulted on their defined benefit pension plans, "costing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. nearly $10 billion and pension beneficiaries $5 billion," GAO noted. Delta Air Lines also is expected to default on its pension obligations. In total, active and frozen airline plans were underfunded by almost $15 billion at the end of 2005, the agency said. Jun 19, 2006

Merrill Lynch expects the US airline industry (non-Chapter 11 carriers) to report a net profit for the June quarter of $600 million. Jun 19, 2006

Air Canada

Air Canada flew 4.06 billion RPMs in May, a 5.7% increase over the year-ago month. Capacity rose 2.2% to 4.93 billion ASMs, lifting load factor 2.7 points to 82.3%. Domestic traffic grew 2.6% to 1.32 billion RPMs as capacity increased 4.9% to 1.67 billion ASMs and load factor fell 1.7 points to 79%. International RPMs jumped 4.9% to 2.1 billion as capacity dropped 0.8% to 2.44 billion ASMs, raising load factor 4.7 points to 86.2%. Jun 19, 2006

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines filed documents yesterday with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. to terminate its pilots' pension plan. The move, which Delta said is necessary to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, was not unexpected following the pilots' May 31 ratification of a concessions deal that will save the airline $280 million annually and that included incentives for pilots if they do not oppose the pension termination. PGBC filed a motion with the bankruptcy court advocating rejection of the concessions deal, which it said would cause the agency "to sustain a multibillion-dollar loss". But the court approved the deal and paved the way for the pension termination. "Unless the pilot plan is terminated, Delta cannot successfully restructure and emerge from bankruptcy," CEO Gerald Grinstein wrote in a letter to members of the US Congress made public yesterday. PBGC, which has appealed the court's approval of Delta's agreement with the pilots, already has assumed many of the obligations of pensions terminated by United Airlines and US Airways and is estimated to have a $23 billion deficit. The Delta pension termination, which would take effect in September, is expected to be approved by the bankruptcy court. It is unclear when PBGC's appeal of the concessions deal's approval will be resolved. Jun 20, 2006

Delta Air lines, PBGC

PBGC Gets Delta Pilots Pension Notice. The government's pension insurer said Tuesday it has received Delta Air Lines Inc.'s notice of its intention to terminate its pilots' pension plan. Jun 20, 2006

Mesaba Airlines

Mesaba Airlines to ask judge to throw out contracts. Mesaba Airlines will ask a bankruptcy judge on Monday to toss its labor contracts, according to the Associated Press. This will be the airlines second request. The feeder carrier for Northwest Airlines Corp., Mesaba filed for bankruptcy protection last fall after Northwest did the same. Jun 23, 2006

Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines asked the US Bankruptcy Court for an extension of its period to exclusively file its reorganization plan to Jan. 15, 2007. The current period is set to expire July 13. Jun 22, 2006

Northwest Airlines

Northwest Paid Firm Before. Five months before Northwest Airlines Corp. filed for Chapter 11 protection, it paid its lead bankruptcy law firm almost $1 million for bankruptcy expenses, according to a court filing by the airline. Jun 20, 2006

Northwest Airlines

Northwest requests bankruptcy extension. Northwest Airlines Corp. has asked for an additional three months to complete a reorganization plan as it settles pay cuts with its flight attendants. Jun 20, 2006

Northwest, Delta

KLM executive says Northwest, Delta could merge. Northwest Airlines Corp. and Delta Air Lines have a "real possibility" of merging, said the chief executive of airline carrier KLM, which is part of Air France. According to news reports, KLM chief executive Leo van Wijk told reporters in New York that a merger would benefit Air France-KLM as it would be easier to deal with one entity. Such a merger has been rumored since Eagan, Minn.-based Northwest entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last September, on the same day as Delta. Other industry leaders and executives have predicted consolidation in the struggling airline industry as rising fuel costs and low-cost carriers assault companies' bottom lines. Jun 19, 2006

US Airways

US Airways Group flew a combined 5.56 billion RPMs in May, a 7.7% drop from the year-ago month. Capacity declined 10.8% to 6.96 billion ASMs and load factor rose 2.7 points to 79.9%. US Airways mainline flew 3.24 billion RPMs, an 8.2% decrease, as capacity fell 12.9% to 4.05 billion ASMs. Load factor climbed 4 points to 79.9%. Jun 21, 2006

WestJet

WestJet is consolidating its domestic and international charter operations at Toronto Pearson on Concourse C in Terminal 3 effective June 16. The airline operates more than 300 flights per week at the airport and said it represents 86.9% of enplaned passengers in T3. Jun 19, 2006
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Publication:Airguide Online
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 26, 2006
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