Carolinas Roundup |

Novant refinances $198 million of debt

Novant Health announced Tuesday it has refinanced $198 million of debt, which will help the not-for-profit health care system as it builds new hospitals and converts to electronic medical records.

Novant has refinanced the debt to a 4 percent interest rate. Previously, it was paying 5 to 5.8 percent on the debt, which came from bonds issued in 1996 and 1998. The average remaining life of the bonds is 10 years. Novant says it will save about $17 million with the lower interest rates.

Dean Swindle, the chief financial officer, said that Novant plans to invest $1.6 billion in facilities – including three new hospitals – and medical technologies over the next five years.

Novant Health includes several hospitals in the Charlotte area, such as Presbyterian Hospital, Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital, Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville and Presbyterian Hospital Matthews.

Christina Rexrode

Nonstop flight from Philly to Tel Aviv?

US Airways announced Tuesday that it plans to fly nonstop from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv, Israel, which would be the longest nonstop flight in the airline's network.

If approved by the U.S. and Israeli governments, the daily flight would start in July, the carrier said. The route would be more than 5,700 miles.

Based in Tempe, Ariz., US Airways is Charlotte's dominant airline, operating more than 80 percent of flights in the market.

US Airways plans to use a new Airbus A330-200 jet for the route. The long-range plane is scheduled for delivery in the spring.

US Airways has 10 daily nonstop flights from Charlotte to Philadelphia.

Jefferson George