November 18, 2005

ATA Ends Service To Indianapolis

ATA, which is owned by ATA Holdings Corp., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2004. Once the nation's 10th largest passenger carrier, it has cut more than 3,000 jobs since it began downsizing from a work force of 7,800 people two years ago. The airline had been the busiest airline at the Indianapolis airport, with 41 daily flights and 22 percent of all passengers, before dropping to just three daily flights since its bankruptcy filing. Now the bankrupt carrier is halting all flights to and from its hometown of Indianapolis after 32 years of operations there, company executives said Tuesday.

‘‘It looks like ATA's traffic base is slowly eroding,'' said Michael Boyd, president of The Boyd Group, an Evergreen, Colo.-based aviation industry consulting firm. He called ATA's abandonment of Indianapolis surprising. ‘‘This is like Sears Roebuck moving to China.'' Looks like ATA and Independence will be joining the list with SouthEast and TransMeridian as carriers, who are no more.

Some may say this is the perfect opportunity for a start-up, like a DJ Air Group, to fill a void left by these carriers??? I hope that I am wrong, but I feel the complete opposite. Events like these will make it that much harder for DJ Air Group to get their first flight, from anywhere, off the ground.

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