Thursday, April 03, 2008

ATA Airlines shuts down all operations

ATA Airlines pinATA Airlines announced this morning that it had filed a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy petition on April 2, 2008, and that it has "discontinued all operations, effective as of 4 am ET on April 3." The reason cited was the "unexpected cancellation of a key contract for ATA’s military charter business, which made it impossible for ATA to obtain additional capital to sustain its operations or restructure the business."

In a media release issued by the airline, Doug Yakola, ATA's chief operating officer, said:
“We deeply regret the disruption and hardship caused by the sudden shutdown of ATA, an outcome we and our employees had worked very hard and made many sacrifices to avoid. Unfortunately, the cancellation of a critical agreement for our military charter business undermined ATA’s plan to address the current conditions facing all scheduled service airlines, including the tremendous spike in the price of jet fuel in recent months. As a result, it became impossible for ATA to continue operating.”
According to a media fact sheet on ATA's website, at the time of the shutdown, ATA had approximately 2,230 employees, including approximately 600 pilots, more than 800 flight attendants, and more than 100 mechanics. ATA had approximately 585 employees at its headquarters in Indianapolis.

ATA Airlines, which was formerly called American Trans Air, had been in business since 1973. In 2004, the airline had filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. The company reorganized and emerged from Bankruptcy in 2006. In 2007, ATA Airlines became a subsidiary Global Aero Logistics Inc. At the time of its shutdown, ATA was operating 29 aircraft, including Boeing 737-800s, Boeing 757-200s, Boeing 757-300s, DC10s and Lockheed L-1011s. Many of its aircraft were leased.

ATA's collapse comes hard on the heels of the shut down of all Aloha Airlines passenger operations earlier this week. I don't mean to be cynical, but I can't help but ask, "So, who's next?"

[Photo Source]