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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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PHI Aviation
Charter

BAN's World Gazetteer

Louisiana
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PHI vows to maintain ops and personnel under Chapter 11
Responsible for more than 240 aircraft in 70 locations across 43 countries, PHI has a lot at stake now that it is filing for voluntary Chapter 11 protection. Recent Blue Torch funding will help.

Louisiana-headquartered helicopter company PHI and its principal US entities have filed for voluntary Chapter 11 protection in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas to address the upcoming maturity of its unsecured senior notes and strengthen its balance sheet.

All of PHI's operations will continue to run for the duration of the Chapter 11 process. With existing cash on hand and the net proceeds from the US$70 million in funding the company received on March 13 under its new term loan with Blue Torch Capital, as well as ongoing cash flows from operations, PHI expects to have sufficient liquidity to continue its business uninterrupted.

The company states: “After working closely with our advisors since the spring of 2018, interacting with our various stakeholders and carefully evaluating all possible options, the board concluded that pursuing Chapter 11 protection is the most appropriate course of action to address our matured debt and strengthen our balance sheet. We are confident this will position the entire company for continued leadership in the industry and provide a platform for long-term success. We remain fully committed to all of our stakeholders and to operating with the highest standards of safety and quality as we navigate this process, which we believe is the best option for a timely and efficient resolution to our financial situation."

The Chapter 11 cases include PHI's principal US entities. Operations in Mexico, Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Cyprus, Ghana, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand are not included.

PHI remains in discussions with the holders of its $500 million in unsecured notes and their advisors to consider alternatives to address its outstanding debt obligations. The company is also engaged in ongoing discussions with its various lessors to address certain of its above-market lease obligations. PHI has filed a series of motions that, subject to court approval, will allow it to maintain its usual employee compensation and benefit programmes, make payments for goods and services in the normal course, and otherwise operate its business as usual. These motions are typical in a Chapter 11 process, the company says, and it does not anticipate any opposition to its motions. It is working to emerge from bankruptcy in the summer of 2019 with a reduced and more sustainable debt structure.

The operator has a fleet of more than 240 aircraft in over 70 locations around the world. It offers services to the offshore oil and gas industry, air medical applications and technical services. PHI's headquarters are in Lafayette, Louisiana, and it employs approximately 2,200 personnel.

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