Raytheon Aircraft no longer owns part of Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation, following the airline’s November 16 repurchase of all common stock owned by the one-time Beech 1900 manufacturer. According to Great Lakes’ third-quarter 10Q filing with the SEC, the airline entered into new financing agreements with GB Merchant Partners and Crystal Capital, allowing it to settle its obligations with Raytheon Aircraft. Terms of the financing include a four-year term loan of $24 million and a revolving loan credit facility under which the company may borrow $10 million.
Great Lakes Airlines
Over the past two years the profile of the “traditional” Essential Air Service applicant has changed dramatically. No longer the nearly exclusive domain of
Hawker Beechcraft Beech 1900D, St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 7, 2008–The empennage of the Great Lakes Aviation 1900 struck a building overhang while parking at its gate at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, aided by a marshaler and a wing walker. The vertical stabilizer was twisted and the rudder and the right side of the elevator were wrinkled. No one was injured.
United Airlines last month asked a judge overseeing its bankruptcy case for permission to end the code-sharing and marketing agreement with regional carrier Great Lakes Aviation. According to a UAL spokesman, the request is “essentially procedural” and does not mean UAL rejects out of hand Great Lakes as a code-sharing and marketing partner.
Hawker Beechcraft 1900D, Page, Ariz., March 26, 2008–A cargo door opened just after takeoff at Page Municipal Airport and the Great Lakes Airlines 1900 returned to land, with no injuries and only minor damage to the airplane.
Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation has won the right to serve 20 new markets under its recently signed code-share contract with Frontier Airlines. The expanded deal brings to 35 the total number of cities Great Lakes will serve under the Frontier code. Now flying to 16 cities under the Frontier code (eight of which were added November 15), Great Lakes will add a further 20 destinations on December 14.
Sagging operational and financial fortunes at Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation have prompted Tennenbaum & Co. to withdraw its offer to buy the former United Express affiliate’s outstanding shares of common stock for $4 a share. In a letter to Great Lakes’ board, Tennenbaum suggested a merger of the Frontier Airlines code-share partner with another turboprop operation to increase its attractiveness to potential investors.
Great Lakes Aviation appears to have escaped a brush with certain bankruptcy thanks to a recently signed agreement with Raytheon Aircraft that gives the Wichita-based manufacturer a 36-percent stake in the long-foundering airline.
Trans States and Chautauqua Airlines will serve seven new destinations from St. Louis starting September 5 as part of a push by American Airlines to replenish its downsized hub with regional jets. At the same time the airline will end American Connection service between St. Louis and Dallas Love Field, a route Trans States now flies for American directly against Southwest Airlines.