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Another airline to halt flights

May 15, 2008|From Bloomberg News

Air Midwest, which goes to 27 mostly small cities, will stop flying by June 30, becoming the sixth U.S. carrier to halt operations since March as fuel prices reach record highs and travel demand weakens.

The shutdown will start May 23, Air Midwest parent Mesa Air Group Inc. said Wednesday. Air Midwest's service includes a government program that subsidizes carriers for operating at mainly small, rural airports. The unit also makes some flights for US Airways Group Inc.

Mesa is halting Air Midwest after saying in January that it would start to liquidate the unit, which began operations 43 years ago.

Phoenix-based Mesa said it received no "credible offers" after it began seeking a buyer last year for the unprofitable unit or its 20 Beechcraft 1900D turboprop planes.

"The losses were too great and there was no real end in sight," said Brian Gillman, Mesa's general counsel.

Air Midwest flies to such cities as Little Rock, Ark.; DuBois, Pa.; Merced, Calif.; and Joplin, Mo.

Other U.S. airlines that have suspended operations since March are Aloha, ATA, Skybus, Eos Airlines Inc. and Champion.

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