TRANS WORLD Airlines (TWA) is leasing three new McDonnell Douglas MD-83s from Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services as part of its fleet-modernisation programme.

TWA, which has one of the oldest fleets among US majors, will take delivery direct from the manufacturer, starting this month. The MD-83s will be the first new aircraft to enter TWA service since 1993, when it acquired six MD-83s.

The acquisition of the aircraft is taking place amid expectations that the airline will emerge from its third spell under Chapter 11 protection later this month, following the acceptance by the bankruptcy court of the most recent re-organisation package. TWA says that the plan will reduce its debt from $1.8 billion to $500 million, and increase the stake held by creditors and note holders from 55% to 70%.

TWA, meanwhile, has reported mixed traffic results for July. Revenue passenger kilometers flown were down by 2.2%, to 4.13 billion, compared with the same month in 1994, but the load factor rose from 69% to 71.8% as capacity fell to 3.58 billion passengers.

Capacity was cut by 12% on international services, to 1.1 billion passengers, largely through elimination of unprofitable routes.

Source: Flight International