American Airlines In Talks Over Brazil Debt

February 8, 2012

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American Airlines is renegotiating terms of USD$1.6 billion in debt owed to Brazil's state development bank to help it emerge more rapidly from bankruptcy in the United States, a Brazilian newspaper said on Wednesday.

American Airlines chief executive Thomas Horton, who was named in November to the top post at the third largest US airline, declined to say how the company plans to pay the BNDES, according to a report by Valor Econômico.

The airline's parent company AMR wants to rework terms of the debt, which it incurred to finance the purchase of Embraer planes between 1998 and 2002, as part of its bankruptcy restructuring.

The company filed for bankruptcy last November, saddled with more than USD$30 billion in debt and a flagging market for its business.

It could return some planes to Embraer and pay down a portion of the BNDES debt, Horton told Valor, naming one potential alternative the company is working on. He visited Brazil for two days this week, Valor added.