In a decision opening the way for Hawker Beechcraft to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this month, U.S. Bankruptcy Court today approved the Wichita OEM’s joint plan of reorganization. “Today’s ruling marks the final significant step in the restructuring process,” said Hawker Beechcraft CEO Steve Miller. The company said that, as part of the reorganization, it will be rebranded Beechcraft Corp.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
With Hawker Beechcraft attempting to clear the final hurdle in Chapter 11 proceedings and emerge from bankruptcy, Judge Stuart Bernstein said earlier today that he would approve the joint plan of reorganization for all but one of the subsidiaries currently under Chapter 11 protection. Bernstein reserved judgment regarding the Hawker Beechcraft Corp.
In a filing in bankruptcy court just before Christmas, Hawker Beechcraft asked for court approval to shed two underfunded pension plans covering some 9,500 non-union workers and retirees. The request is part of an agreement with the federal government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) and the OEM’s machinists’ union. Terms of the agreement require PBGC to assume responsibility for the two terminated pensions, while Hawker Beechcraft will keep the pension plan covering its 8,200 current and former union employees. A hearing to consider the plan is scheduled for January 17.
Bankrupt AMR Corp. has agreed to freeze the pension plan in place for members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) rather than shift the burden to the U.S. government’s Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the TWU ann