Republic Airways approves buyback plan
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republic Airways said Monday that its board of directors approved a $75 million plan to buy back stock or retire convertible debt after the airline's pilots rejected a proposed four-year labor contract last week.
"With the results of last week's pilot vote, we must now face the reality that our near-term growth prospects are limited," said Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford.
Under the $75 million plan, the company can buy up to $50 million of its shares and retire up to $50 million of convertible debt in any combination. Bedford said the plan will help return proceeds of its sale of Frontier Airlines last December to its shareholders.
The company said the contract rejected on Friday would have increased wages for pilots and make them some of the best paid among regional airlines. Pilot unions have said that pay is too low.
The Indianapolis company operates Republic Airlines, Chautauqua Airlines and Shuttle America, which operate flights for bigger airlines including Delta Connection, United Express and US Airways Express.
Shares of Republic Airways Holdings Inc. fell 31 cents to $8.57 in morning trading Monday.
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