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Justice Department Opposes Hawker Bonus Plan

The Justice Department’s bankruptcy watchdog agency opposes a move by Hawker Beechcraft to pay eight senior executives more than $5.3 million in bonuses.

In a court filing yesterday, U.S. Trustee Tracy Hope Davis argued that Hawker Beechcraft hasn’t shown that its proposed bonus plan isn’t a disguised retention plan. Bonus plans are allowed, but must do more than simply reward managers for staying during a bankruptcy reorganization. Hawker Beechcraft calls it an incentive award and says its plans are consistent with its commitment to strongly emerge from bankruptcy.

A hearing on the proposed bonuses is set for Thursday. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said it plans to formally file an objection to the bonuses before the hearing.

The court approved exclusive talks with a Chinese firm, Superior Aviation Beijing Company, that has offered nearly $1.8 billion to purchase the company’s business jet and general aviation operations.