IN SETTLING FORMER MANAGER’S SUIT

XTRA Airways, officials finalize terms of deal

Florida-based XTRA Airways Inc. and its officials have finalized the terms of an agreement that settles a lawsuit filed against them by a former manager for the airline’s Asian operations for allegedly terminating him without cause a few months after he was hired for the Saipan office in 2017.

In a joint status report, plaintiff Thomas L. Nolte and defendant TEM Enterprises, which does business as Xtra Airways, through their respective counsels, informed the U.S. District Court for the NMI Monday that their final settlement agreement encompasses all issues and all parties, including attorney’s fees and costs.

Colin M. Thompson is counsel for Nolte, while lawyers Catherine J. Cachero and Sean E. Frink are counsel for TEM Enterprises.

The lawyers told the court that the parties expect to file a joint stipulation of voluntary dismissal of Nolte’s complaint on or before Dec. 31, 2018.

The parties submitted their notice Monday after U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona granted their request last Nov. 8 to give them 30 days to finalize their settlement agreement and file a stipulation of voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit.

In the original complaint, Nolte sued XTRA Airways Inc. and five unnamed co-defendants for breach of written and oral contracts, and fraud. He asked the court to hold the defendants liable to pay him lost wages, damages, attorney’s fees, and court costs.

In his amended complaint, Nolte sued Tem Enterprises, which owns XTRA Airways, XTRA Airways chief operations officer Andrew D. Lotter, and XTRA Airways chief executive officer Frank J. Visconti for fraud, and only against XTRA Airways for breach of contract.

Nolte asked the court to hold the defendants liable to compensate him for lost earnings, damages, and court costs. He demanded a jury trial.

XTRA Airways’ flights from China to Saipan were cancelled starting Nov. 10, 2017, three months after it opened flights from Nanjing to Saipan.

Thompson alleged in the complaint that XTRA Airways’ true goal in hiring Nolte was to provide a short-term boost to XTRA Airways’ net value by demonstrating to prospective buyers that XTRA Airways had an existing China-Saipan route and a manager (Nolte) to operate the route. The defendants denied the allegations.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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