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Time may be running short for Hooters Air. While Robert Brooks, a Loris native and owner of the Myrtle Beach-based charter airline, declined to say the airline would soon shut down, he cast doubt on its future. "I just hate to quit. I'm still fighting, but don't expect anything long term," he said Monday. "I dearly wished it could have turned out better."
Brooks is also chairman of Hooters of America, an international restaurant chain known for its scantily clad Hooters Girls. The company also owns a casino in Las Vegas that opened in February. In a wide-ranging interview with The Sun News, Brooks said he is "open for suggestions" over what to do about Hooters Air. "I haven't had any surprises in the casino business, or in manufacturing, or in the restaurant business, which we deal in worldwide, but the airline business is crazy," he said. "The airline business isn't my cup of tea."
He does have options - including finding investors to pump capital into the financially ailing airline or selling to new owners. Indeed, Brooks said the airline was contacted Monday by a potential buyer, though he downplayed a deal. Whether he sells or not, the airline industry hasn't been kind. "I've not been enamored with the industry in general," Brooks said. "You can't depend on anybody and anything. It's dog-eat-dog and one thing or another from one minute to the next. What I understand about it, I don't like what I see."
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