PenAir future up in the air as bankruptcy hearing starts in Anchorage
Danny Seybert did not have much to say outside U.S. Bankruptcy Court Tuesday morning.
"No, no statement," said the owner of PenAir, a company whose future remains very much up in the air, as he and Seybert say, PenAir owes about $19 million to creditors. A bankruptcy judge ordered the airline's sale to settle those debts.
Penair grew into a large regional carrier that employed more than 400 people. The airline tried to expand into the Lower 48.
Seybert said the plan failed because PenAir could not get out from under long-term contracts for some of its airplanes. In September he said he believed he could find the money to retain control of the airline.
"We have built an airline that today is the right airline for the region," said Seybert.
However, his problems continued to mount.
St. Paul Island is one of the remote areas serviced by PenAir. The airline has reduced its flights to St. Paul from four to three times a week in the past month.
Despite the problems, Seybert said in September, he remained confident PenAir will remain his.
"I think, as an airline, we handled it better than anyone else could have," said Seybert.
He took off from court Tuesday with the process underway to determine if the airline started by his father in 1955, stays in the family.
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