Without some credit relief, United Airlines will have to file for Chapter 11 protection in a month, the cash-poor company announced today. That would make it the fourth airline to file for bankruptcy since 9/11, despite a multi-billion dollar government bailout.
But one of the bankrupt airlines--Kansas City-based budget carrier Vanguard--may have an interested buyer, a man well known for maximizing a company's assets.
The man is Robert H. Brooks, chairman of Hooters, the restaurant chain that specializes in cheesecake--not the kind you eat, of course; the kind you ogle. Hooters girls deliver beer and burgers to a mostly male clientele while wearing orange hot pants and skimpy white tank tops that state the obvious.
For the moment, Brooks is supplying Vanguard with $50,000 per week for three weeks, buying time to look over the books and consider whether he'll make an offer. He's interested in the airline in part because it served his hometown of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, reports CNN.
When asked by reporters whether, should Brooks buy in, those hot pants would be making an appearance at 25,000 feet, a Vanguard spokesman was noncommittal. "If it'll be 'Hooters Girls' flight attendants, it's too early," Cattell said.
With much of the industry's old guard operating deeply in the red, the image of a white Boeing emblazoned with the bubbly orange Hooters logo seems refreshing, almost inspiring--even to a certain frequent flyer who would certainly never buy a ticket.