September 4, 2008

Midwest May Dodge Chapter 11 Filing

Financially troubled Midwest Airlines in Wisconsin has signed a deal to lease a dozen jets that could help it avoid a bankruptcy filing, the company said.

Midwest has agreed to lease the Embraer 170 jets from Republic Airways Holdings, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Thursday.

But, the jets will be initially flown and maintained by Republic employees, meaning about 270 Midwest employees will lose their jobs, the Journal-Sentinel reported.

The 10-year lease also includes an agreement for Republic to loan Midwest $15 million. A second agreement includes a second loan -- for $10 million -- if the carrier meets certain financial goals, the newspaper reported.

The airline has also raised cash from TPG Capital, which owns 53 percent of the airline, and expects its workforce to be reduced by 45 percent by the end of the year.

"For the foreseeable future, we are out of the shadows of Chapter 11," Midwest spokesman Michael Brophy said.