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Hawker Beechcraft gets OK to liquidate jet inventory

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, at 2:50 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, at 7:01 a.m.

A bankruptcy judge ruled Tuesday that Hawker Beechcraft may move forward with the sale of its remaining Hawker 4000 business jet inventory.

The move comes three weeks after the judge rejected the company’s request to expedite the sale of Hawker 4000 inventory, saying Hawker Beechcraft shouldn’t race to abandon the assets and sell them at substantial discounts.

The company has 20 Hawker 4000s in its inventory with a retail value of $20 million each, it said in a November court filing. That includes 13 new Hawker 4000s, three in production and four used planes.

An ad hoc committee of Hawker 4000 owners protested the sale with the court last month, saying that rather than hasten the process, sales should move forward in a measured, responsible way to maximize their value.

Hawker Beechcraft filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection May 3.

Hawker Beechcraft must maintain information about each Hawker 4000 sale, including the serial number, name of the buyer and the purchase price, which must be provided to the U.S. Trustee and advisers monthly, the judge said in his ruling Tuesday.

The company said in late October that it was discontinuing the warranties on Hawker 4000 and Premier 1 and 1A business jets as well as its extended service contracts on the two planes.

It’s also discontinuing its agreements to upgrade and enhance the Hawker 4000s.

Hawker 4000 owners, in response, have hired attorneys to protect their interests.

Hawker Beechcraft has said it plans to exit its jet business after emerging from bankruptcy early next year.

After talks to sell the company, except for its defense business, to Superior Aviation Beijing broke down, Hawker Beechcraft said it planned to emerge from bankruptcy as a smaller, stand-alone company called Beechcraft Corp. The reorganized company will focus on the King Air, Baron and Bonanza lines and defense and after-market business.

Contact Molly McMillin at 316-269-6708 or mmcmillin@wichitaeagle.com.

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