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Business Briefs

For Thursday, March 3, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:


Mesa Air emerges from bankruptcy

Mesa Air Group Inc., which operates interisland carrier go! Mokulele, emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization as a private company on Tuesday after 13 months in bankruptcy.

Go! Mokulele was not part of the bankruptcy filing.

Mesa's outstanding common shares were canceled, but the company said it will issue four new series of notes, shares of common stock and/or warrants to purchase shares of its common stock to its creditors in exchange for their claims in the Chapter 11 proceedings.

During reorganization, the Phoenix-based company eliminated 100 excess aircraft and now has 76 planes, fewer than half the total it previously had in its fleet. Mesa also restructured aircraft leases and financing for its remaining CRJ 200 fleet to get lower costs on the 50-seat aircraft. Mesa flies the CRJ 200 in Hawaii.

The company also eliminated $700 million in capitalized leases and $50 million in debt, and extended a partnership with US Airways through September 2015.

"Mesa is among the first regional airlines to address the risks associated with 50-seat regional jet aircraft, which have increasingly fallen out of favor with mainline carriers," Mesa Chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein said. "We believe the elimination of exposure related to this fleet provides Mesa with a significant competitive advantage."

The company operates as US Airways Express and United Express on regional routes for US Airways and United Airlines, respectively, but ceased its code-share agreement with Delta Air Lines.

Mesa also has cut about one-fourth of its work force -- from 3,292 at the end of 2009 to 2,429 as of Jan. 31 of this year -- and set up a new board of directors.

Central Pacific stock sinks 13.4%

Central Pacific Financial Corp.'s stock continued its free fall yesterday after the deadline passed last Friday to be eligible to buy additional shares at $10 apiece at a future date as part of a "rights offering."

Shares of Central Pacific Bank's parent fell $3.02, or 13.4 percent, to $19.48 yesterday. That brings its total slide over the first three days of this week to $15.55, or 44.4 percent.

Legal Aid Society gets $275,000 grant

Legal Aid Society of Hawaii has been awarded a $275,000 federal grant to help combat housing and lending abuse, including mortgage rescue scams. The grant was part of $40.8 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to 108 fair-housing organizations and nonprofit agencies in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

HUD said its grants may be used to investigate alleged housing discrimination, to protect residents in minority neighborhoods from mortgage rescue scams, to promote equal housing opportunities and to educate the public and the housing industry about their rights and responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act.

Enterprise Honolulu given $250,000

Enterprise Honolulu has been awarded a $250,000 grant by the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration to provide business development assistance that will help small- to medium-size businesses in the state capitalize on international trade opportunities within the Asia-Pacific region.

"When in effect, this project will help alleviate Hawaii's economic crisis by providing jobs for those affected by the mass layoffs that left an estimated 650 people unemployed between the months of August and October 2010," said Pono Shim, president and CEO of Enterprise Honolulu.

ON THE MOVE

Hawaii Dialogix Telecom has promoted the following to customer service representative supervisors:

» Alisa-Marie K. Manuel was previously a customer service representative for HDT as well as a receptionist for Action Pest Control and in housekeeping for Makaha Resort Golf Club.

» Shannon Maika joined HDT in 2008 and had worked for Aloha Airlines as a customer service and reservations agent and for the U.S. Postal Service.

American Savings Bank has presented a check for $10,000 to Kapaa High School as part of its Bank for Education Program's second campaign, which was created to help Hawaii's communities raise funds for their schools.

The American Cancer Society 2010 Harold P. Freeman Service Award was awarded to the following two out of six recipients who had Hawaii ties:

» The Queen's Cancer Center's Oncology Research Program at the Queen's Medical Center was awarded for its specific effort to increase the representation of Filipinos, native Hawaiians and Pacific islanders in clinical trials.

» The Molokai General Hospital in Kaunakakai was awarded for increasing early detection of cancer and reducing cancer care disparities for native Hawaiians.






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