Longtime PHI chairman and CEO Al Gonsoulin is stepping down as part of that helicopter services company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan. Gonsoulin will be replaced by Lance Bospflug, who has served as PHI’s president since 2010. PHI announced earlier this month that it had reached a settlement agreement with its unsecured creditors and a financing entity controlled by Gonsoulin that resolved all outstanding objections and motions and is now ready to proceed with a consensual plan of reorganization. A court hearing on that plan is set for Tuesday and final approval could come before the end of summer, according to the company.
The settlement agreement contains certain conditions related to debt and cash levels the company must satisfy by the reorganization plan’s effective date and PHI said it is taking the required steps to meet those conditions. Bospflug called the settlement a “crucial and positive turning point” but acknowledged that the company has “work to do to satisfy the terms of the agreement.”
Gonsoulin bought a controlling interest in PHI in 2001 from the Suggs family, who started it with three Bell 47s in 1949. PHI primarily serves the offshore energy and air medical markets. At the time of its bankruptcy filing in March 2019, PHI operated a fleet of 240 aircraft from 70 locations and employed 2,200 worldwide.