Delta Air Lines is the most exposed financial party under Pinnacle Airlines' restructuring plan to drop its Bombardier CRJ900 flying to focus on a fleet of 140 CRJ200 aircraft.
Pinnacle, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 1 April, will early terminate a 2007 deal with Delta Air Lines covering CRJ900 flying as part of an agreement with the mainline carrier to provide the regional with $74.3 million in debtor-in-possession financing.
According to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database, Delta Air Lines owns 41 CRJ900 aircraft, while Pinnacle owns 16 aircraft of the type. The CRJ900 market totals 247 aircraft in service and 10 aircraft on backlog, according to Ascend. There are 10 aircraft currently in storage.
The decision is good news for AFS Investments, Wells Fargo Bank, Aircraft Service Group and GS Leasing, which are the lessors with the greatest exposure to Pinnacle's CRJ200 fleet.
Under Pinnacle's restructuring plan, the regional carrier would cease all turboprop flying for United-Continental by 30 November if its bankruptcy plan is approved.
Yesterday, the regional carrier submitted a request with the bankruptcy court to reject 19 turboprop aircraft. Pinnacle is seeking to terminate leases on four Saab 340 aircraft (MSNs 340B-239, 340B-242, 340B-237, 340B-201) on lease from AeroCentury Leasing.
The regional carrier is also looking to scrap two Saab 340s (MSNs 340B-339, 340B-356) on lease from Global Aircraft Leasing.
It is also aiming to return eight Saab 340 aircraft on lease from Fairbrook Leasing (MSNs 340B-402, 340B-414, 340B-407, 340B-416, 340B-418, 340B-412, 340B-413, 340B-420).
Another two Saab A340 aircraft on lease from Lambert Leasing (MSNs 340B-321 and 340B-251) are under consideration.
Pinnacle also is seeking to terminate leases on three Bombardier Dash 8Q-400 aircraft, which are owned by Bombardier Capital (MSNs 4033, 4351 and 4354). One ex-SAS aircraft was leased from Bombardier Capital last December for a period of one year.