America West Declines Opportunity to Submit Bid for ATA Assets
Thursday December 9, 3:00 pm ET
PHOENIX, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- America West Holdings Corporation (NYSE
: AWA - News), parent company of America West Airlines, Inc., today announced it does not plan to submit a bid to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to purchase ATA Holdings Corp. (OTC: ATAHQ - News). America West had previously announced it was considering acquiring ATA through that airline's Chapter 11 restructuring process.
America West Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker said, "We have stated from the beginning of this process that we would not proceed with any transaction that would put undue risk on America West's employees, customers or stockholders. While we believe there is some value in a combined America West/ATA operation, we do not believe the potential value justifies the anticipated cost.
"Our interest in ATA encompassed acquiring the entire company as opposed to only a few select assets, which meant we needed most of the aircraft and employees to stay with the company. During this process we found we were able to attract sufficient capital to support a competitive bid and we are grateful to our partners for their offers of support. We particularly appreciate the support we received from the employees of ATA. We are hopeful that whoever ends up owning ATA will recognize the value of this dedicated and experienced workforce. Unfortunately, we were unable to come to acceptable lease terms on enough aircraft with ATA's existing aircraft lessors.
"We feel very good about the decision to refrain from this bidding process. As the nation's second largest low cost carrier we are well positioned for long-term success in a rapidly evolving airline environment. Because our current aircraft orders satisfy our near-term growth plans, we are not compelled to stretch to find places to fly. We feel confident there will be future growth and acquisition opportunities for America West as our industry evolves. While we have chosen to pass on this particular transaction, we look forward to playing a role in the continued consolidation of the airline industry."
America West Airlines is the nation's second largest low cost airline and the only carrier formed since deregulation to achieve major airline status. America West's 13,000 employees serve nearly 55,000 customers a day in 96 destinations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements about the future of the airline industry, growth plans and our prospects for success. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results and financial position to differ materially from these statements, including, but are not limited to, the duration and extent of the current soft economic conditions; the impact of global instability including the continuing impact of the continued military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and the potential impact of future hostilities, terrorist attacks, infectious disease outbreaks or other global events; limitations on our ability to obtain additional financing due to high levels of debt and the financial and other covenants in our debt instruments; changes in federal and state laws and regulations; changes in prevailing interest rates and the availability of and terms of financing to fund our business; the ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; the cyclical nature of the airline industry; competitive practices in the industry; the impact of changes in fuel prices; relations with unionized employees generally and the impact and outcome of the labor negotiations and other factors described from time to time in our publicly available SEC reports. We caution you that these risks may not be exhaustive. We operate in a continually changing business environment, and new risks emerge from time to time. We undertake no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this press release.