The defunct Western Pacific Airlines is asking the city of Colorado Springs for about $819,000 to aid in assembling funds for its bankruptcy case.

According to Colorado Springs City Attorney Robert Mack, exactly why WestPac feels the city owes them money is a mystery to city officials.

“I really have no idea, and that’s why we’re going to court,” Mack said.

Mack added that the city has a deadline of Oct. 30 to file an answer to the request for the money with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Denver. He said the matter could go through another hearing or two, and finally end up in the hands of the bankruptcy court.

Paul Grant, WestPac’s public trustee attorney for its bankruptcy case, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Mack speculated that WestPac is hoping to get back money it’s paid, such as utility bills and bills for cargo and storage space at the airport.

- Advertisement -

However, Mack said that the letters WestPac sent to the city of Colorado Springs detailing the company’s collection process don’t have an itemized list of payments made to the city, so Mack doesn’t know what items the business feels it can collect money on.

He did say that the company is specifically looking to recoup “preferential payments” — those payments the company made 90 days before filing for bankruptcy. However, in letters to the city, WestPac’s attorney did not specify what payments WestPac made to the city.

“That’s one of the things we’ll be finding out,” Mack said. He added that the city also has the option to file a motion to dismiss since WestPac hasn’t identified the payments it made to the city.

Western Pacific was a Colorado Springs-based airline that began providing service at discount rates in spring 1995. The airline began to lose money in 1996, and in June 1997 moved its operations to Denver International Airport. The company filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 in October 1997.

Mack also said he’s heard of letters going out to other area businesses and governmental entities asking for the same kinds of funds, but wasn’t able to specify which businesses those were.

“It’s hard to say what’s going to happen,” Mack said. “But at $819,000, we won’t be (paying them).”