Mesa Airlines will finance the seven Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft that it has on order with debt from Export Development Canada (EDC), says chief executive Jonathan Ornstein.

“I was actually surprised myself that we could finance them,” he says at the Regional Airlines Association (RAA) annual convention in Cleveland this week.

He was referring to Mesa’s ability to raise new debt following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation in 2010 and 2011 that saw it shed 100 aircraft and about $750 million in capitalised leases and debt.

The Phoenix-based regional carrier achieved costs that are “extremely attractive” on the new secured debt, says Ornstein.

Mesa has also been able to refinance past debt and borrow a new $30 million drawdown loan that acts like a revolving line of credit, he adds.

Ornestein does not comment on the commercial lenders.

Mesa will take delivery of the first 76-seat CRJ900 in July with the rest coming through September. It will operate them for American Airlines.

The new aircraft will bring its fleet of CRJ900s to 64 aircraft and of large regional jets to 115 by the end of the year..

Source: Cirium Dashboard