Airline Flight Plan Can Be a Model for Bankruptcy in Indiana

June 29, 2012 1:07 am Published by

In order to bring the latest information to my Bankruptcy in Indiana readers, I work every day to stay on top of business news. In fact, I’ve trained all the good bankruptcy attorneys in Indiana who work in the Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices to look for interesting items that help readers learn about job markets in our state and clarify the way the bankruptcy process works.

For the past couple of years, I’ve noticed, there’s been a lot of activity in the airline industry.
A recent headline proclaimed “American Airlines is Thriving Despite Bankruptcy.” AA is planning to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy yet this year. According to Thomas Lawton of Dartmouth College, “American is doing the right things to return to business efficiency and customer effectiveness.”

So, as a longtime debt consolidation lawyer who’s helped tens of thousands file personal bankruptcy in Indiana, what do I think individuals can learn from this American Airlines story?

  • American has a plan for emerging from bankruptcy. The company’s leaders are not wasting time bemoaning the fact that they “failed”.  Instead, they’re busy making plans for the future. 
  • American is not, Lawton points out, “scaling up” to compete with other airlines. “Bigger is not always better,” says American’s vice president. 

As an Indiana lawyer for bankruptcy, that’s precisely the healthy attitude I’d like to see in everyone who files personal bankruptcy in Indiana.  Don’t focus on getting back to the kind of lifestyle you once enjoyed.  Don’t focus on keeping up with the Joneses. Work on making a fresh financial start and building a sustainable, regular income and on learning to live within a new financial reality.

Hawker Beechcraft, I learned, is going through the same process of re-visioning and change.
The court approved Hawker’s plan to remain open during the bankruptcy.  In their bankruptcy petition, company leaders outlined three different options, thinking through each plan to come up with the best compromise.  The bankruptcy will eliminate a portion of their debt, and Hawker Beechcraft is working on a repayment plan.  In concept, this is similar to bankruptcy filed under Chapter 13 bankruptcy law in Indiana, a debt repayment plan.

Again, clients filing individual bankruptcy in Indiana can use the Hawker Beechcraft story as a model for taking a positive attitude, enjoying the relief from creditor pressures that the bankruptcy process offers and focusing on a better future ahead.

Meanwhile, as one of my Columbus bankruptcy lawyer colleagues reminds me, a third airline is thinking ahead as well.  US Airways would like to merge with American Airlines.  US Airways Group CEO Doug Parker put it this way: “A combined US Airways-American could compete with anybody.” Parker said talks would need to wait until the bankruptcy judge rules.

These are the kinds of stories I like to hear, showing the bankruptcy process at its best, holding out all sorts of new possibilities for the future of individuals and of companies!


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This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg

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