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CIT Provides $35MM Credit Facility to Mesa Airlines

September 23, 2016, 07:31 AM
Filed Under: Aviation

CIT Group announced that CIT Aerospace, Defense & Government Finance provided a $35 million senior secured credit facility to Mesa Airlines, a provider of regional air service for American Airlines and United Airlines. Mesa Airlines is the fourth-largest independent regional carrier in the United States. The financing supports the refinancing of existing debt as well as provides working capital. Financing was provided by CIT Bank, N.A., the principal bank subsidiary of CIT. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. CIT Treasury Management is also providing cash management services to Mesa Airlines.

Michael Lotz, President and Chief Financial Officer, Mesa Airlines, said, “We are an airline that is growing rapidly, having added multiple aircraft to our fleet over the last few years. We knew we would appreciate CIT’s experience and comfort with lending to the commercial aerospace sector given their track record and heritage in the sector. We are further pleased that CIT was able to offer us treasury management services, which will help us maximize our liquidity and effectively utilize our deposits.”

Burt Feinberg, President, CIT Commercial & Industrial Finance, said, “Mesa’s agreements with major U.S. airlines provide them a stable source of customers. As an independent regional carrier, Mesa plays a crucial role in the overall U.S. commercial air network by transporting 32,000 passengers a day to their mainline partners’ airport hubs. Mesa benefits from strong leadership, a favorable fleet mix, with an emphasis on larger regional aircraft, and a diversified regional network based out of Phoenix, Dallas, Houston and Dulles airports. During this transaction, we leveraged our deep commercial lending experience to develop a financial solution that would effectively support Mesa’s strategic objectives. We look forward to working with Mesa again.”

John Heskin, Director, CIT Aerospace, Defense & Government Finance, said, “The large regional jets operated by Mesa are ideally suited to today’s independent regional carrier environment and the needs of the airlines Mesa supports, positioning Mesa for further growth. We are glad we had the opportunity to apply our aerospace financing expertise in providing this facility to Mesa, and further pleased that we were able to offer Mesa a treasury management solution that will help them optimize their cash flow. These financial solutions will support Mesa’s continued operational success as well as its anticipated growth.”

Founded on a mesa in New Mexico in 1982 and headquartered in Phoenix since 1998, Mesa Airlines provides regional air service for American Airlines under the American Eagle banner and for United Airlines under the United Express brand. Mesa operates 126 aircraft with more than 616 daily system departures to 105 cities, 37 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Mexico—and has seven additional E175s coming in 2016. The company's agreements with its partners are among the longest in the regional industry and extend to 2025 (American) and 2028 (United).

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