Air cargo charter airline Evergreen in trouble

RISING debts have forced US air cargo company Evergreen International Airlines to the brink of bankruptcy.
The ACMI and charter airline, which for decades has supported the US military and operated thousands of commercial operations with a fleet of old B747Fs, ran into trouble last year, as debts soared.
Bond rating agencies had issued warnings about its creditworthiness.
The company often paid its employees late. It is reported that the company used a voicemail message to inform employees of the planned closure.
The air cargo charter airline, which operated a fleet of B747s worldwide, is now down to a skeleton force.
Del Smith founded Evergreen and kept the business alive for decades. The now octogenarian also launched an aviation and space museum.
In March, Evergreen sold its helicopter unit to help pay off US$276 million of debts.
Evergreen faces legal challenges as well, including an ongoing investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice into alleged money transfers between its commercial and non-profit ventures.
A United Arab Emirates company is reportedly suing Evergreen International Airlines, claiming the US company owes it more than US$5million for air cargo missions conducted in Afghanistan.
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