Aircraft return could doom Great Plains, airport director says

Sunday, February 8th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Mascoutah, Illinois - A leasing company is demanding the return of three aircraft from Great Plains Airlines, and one airport director says the move would devastate the airline.

Wings Aircraft Finance contends Tulsa-based Great Plains owes more than 384-thousand dollars in lease payments, interest and maintenance for two of three propjets. According to court documents, the third plane is being held by a repair shop for an unpaid repair bill.

According to a motion filed last week in Oklahoma, Wings wants a federal bankruptcy judge to force the return of the aircraft.

MidAmerica St. Louis Airport Director Tim Cantwell says that if a judge orders the aircraft returned, Great Plains will essentially cease to exist.

Great Plains began flying to the St. Louis-area airport last year.