Southern Air receives court approval for reorganisation plan

Washington DC
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Southern Air Holdings has gained approval from a US bankruptcy court for its reorganisation plan and foresees emerging from Chapter 11 in the next few weeks, the carrier says.

"We are very pleased to receive court approval of our plan of reorganisation and hope to exit Chapter 11 in just a matter of weeks," said Southern Air chief Daniel McHugh in a statement. "This was a critical part of our overall transformation. We have used this process to dramatically change and improve our capital structure, substantially reduce our debt and other legacy costs, strengthen our balance sheet, and enhance our competitiveness with new financial flexibility."

The parent of cargo carrier Southern Air will emerge from bankruptcy with a fleet of Boeing 777 and 747-400 freighter aircraft. Its airline operations and corporate headquarters will be based at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International airport. In January, the carrier took delivery of a Boeing 747-400ERF from AWAS. The carrier operates three other Boeing 747-400s and four Boeing 777-200s, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database. The carrier operates the 777s on behalf of DHL.

Southern Air accelerated the retirements of its three Boeing 747-200 freighter aircraft under an updated reorganisation plan in December, phasing them out of its fleet at the end of last year instead of mid-2013 as previously planned. The move allowed it to downsize its workforce, a process it started in late August 2012.

Southern Air Holdings and associated companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 28 September. It underwent a pre-arranged restructuring process.