Mesa Airlines, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mesa Air Group, today announced the closing of its first-ever offering of Enhanced Equipment Trust Certificates (“EETC”), securing fixed rate financing for the acquisition of 10 new Embraer 175 aircraft, scheduled for delivery over the next six months. The certificates were sold to institutional investors in a private placement.
“This is the first EETC issued by a regional airline and represents a major landmark for Mesa,” said Chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein. “The offering opens a significant new source of capital for Mesa and reflects our financial strength, the confidence investors have in our strategy, and the enduring value of our investment in the Embraer 175. This transaction could not have been done without the support of our team of advisors and placement agents at Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Imperial Capital. We are very pleased with the results.”
The aircraft will be operated for United Airlines under a previously announced Capacity Purchase Agreement that was recently increased from 15 to 18 aircraft. With current planned expansion, Mesa will operate 48 Embraer 175s and 20 Bombardier CRJ700s for United in addition to the 64 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft it operates for American Airlines.
A multiple-time recipient of Air Transport World’s Regional Airline of the Year Award and ranked No. 1 Regional Airline three consecutive years by the DOT Air Travel Consumer Report, Phoenix-based Mesa Airlines operates as American Eagle from hubs in Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth and as United Express from Washington Dulles and Houston. Founded on a mesa in New Mexico in 1982 by Larry and Janie Risley, Mesa currently operates 115 aircraft, with more than 530 daily system departures to 103 cities, 38 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Mexico. The company has approximately 2,800 employees and plans to hire an additional 1,000 in the next two years.