(Adds background on Mesa)
NEW YORK May 14 Struggling regional airline
Mesa Air Group Inc MESA.O said on Wednesday its shareholders
approved a plan to issue as many shares as necessary to buy
back all the company's senior convertible bonds, due in 2023.
Mesa Air -- which runs regional services for UAL Corp's
UAUA.O United Airlines, US Airways Group Inc LCC.N and
Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) -- aims to shore up its finances as
the industry is hit by high fuel costs and weakening demand.
Six airlines have filed for bankruptcy in the past five
months. Mesa's shares have plunged nearly 80 percent this year,
closing at 64 cents each on Nasdaq on Wednesday.
The company, which said earlier on Wednesday it would close
down operations of its Air Midwest unit, is fighting a plan by
Delta to terminate a contract with Mesa's Freedom Airlines Inc
unit to provide regional services.
Mesa, which also schedules flights under its own name and
runs a low-cost service under the name go! in Hawaii, fired its
chief financial officer last year after a U.S. judge ruled Mesa
had to pay Hawaiian Airlines hefty damages in an unfair
Mesa has been identified by industry analysts as a possible
bankruptcy candidate, as conditions worsen in the air travel
business. The company's general counsel, Brian Gillman,
declined to comment on Wednesday on the likelihood of a
Since late December, six airlines have declared bankruptcy,
with only one, Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc FRNTQ.PK, still
flying. Eos Airlines, Skybus Airlines Inc, ATA Airlines, Aloha
Airlines and MAXjet Airways Inc have all stopped flying or are
in the process of winding down operations.
(Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by Braden Reddall)