Sun Country Bankruptcy Reorg. Plan Gets Approval
A U.S. district court judge on Friday approved Sun Country Airlines' reorganization plan, thereby giving the company the go-ahead to emerge from bankruptcy.
The plan, in addition to being approved by judge Robert J. Kressel during a court hearing in Minneapolis, was also “overwhelmingly approved by the creditors eligible to vote,” according to Sun Country.
The plan provides for cash payments to certain creditors, as well as a distribution of equity in the reorganized company to other creditors.
“The plan's confirmation highlights the successful turnaround of Sun Country Airlines, which will emerge as a profitable and debt-free company,” Sun Country President and CEO Stan Gadek said in a statement. “Going forward, Sun Country is well positioned for growth and success as the hometown airline.”
The Mendota Heights-based air carrier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2008, just three days after its then-majority shareholder, Tom Petters, was arrested on federal charges of money laundering, obstruction of justice, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Prior to the arrest, Sun Country had planned to get a short-term loan from Petters to help with a cash shortage.
After the bankruptcy filing, Sun Country attempted to solicit buyers-but its attempts were unsuccessful. In December, the airline indicated in a bankruptcy court motion that it had been contacted by an unnamed interested buyer and said that the offer may be a suitable deal to its creditors-but that purchase never came to fruition.
The fourth quarter of 2008 was Sun Country's first profitable quarter in five years. After major losses in 2007 and 2008, the airline reported a net income of $1.4 million in 2009.
Sun Country Airlines was established in 1982. It flies to destinations in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean; in summer 2010, it also offered flights to London. In January, the air carrier tapped KSTP sportscaster Joe Schmit to be the spokesman for its recently launched Sun Country Vacations-a program that allows travelers to book airfare, hotels, car rentals, tickets to shows and attractions, and other amenities on its Web site.