Despite hopes for an expedited journey through Chapter 11 reorganization, Albuquerque, New Mexico-based One Aviation is still awaiting court approval for its plan to exit bankruptcy and facing a challenge from some company stakeholders.
Formed shortly after One Aviation's October 10 bankruptcy filing, the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors (UCC) filed a motion November 15 to prevent Citiking International LLC from receiving debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing to continue operating the company under Chapter 11. That motion also questioned the process by which Citiking came to be the presumed owner of One Aviation upon its exit from bankruptcy.
"The committee understands, upon information and belief, that Citiking is owned by a Chinese national with little or no experience in the aerospace industry," read the UCC’s motion obtained by AIN. The committee further claimed that Citiking intends to “recommence the debtors' aircraft manufacturing operations in mainland China” upon acquisition of the company.
One Aviation promptly countered those accusations, asserting the UCC "cast [Citiking] in the starring role as the evil, over-controlling lender seeking to undermine the bankruptcy process for its own benefit and at the expense of the company’s other interested parties."
While the court ultimately approved the DIP financing, the UCC continues to seek answers about Citiking’s ultimate intentions. Oral depositions from several key figures, including One Aviation CEO Alan Klapmeier, company chairman Michael Wyse, and Citiking CEO Chenliang Zhang, are scheduled later this month ahead of a final hearing on court approval for the bankruptcy plan.
Citiking last month received court approval to extend an approximately $28,000-per-month lease for the Sunport 10 manufacturing facility. While that building hasn’t seen much activity in recent years, contained within are the friction stir welding gantries used for Eclipse 500/550 fuselage production.