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Monday 2 Jan, 2006
Special Alert - FLYi/Independence Air to
More in sadness than surprise, I must pass
on to you breaking news just now received.
Independence Air announced a short while
ago it will cease operations - ie stop flying on Thursday 5 January.
No further flights will depart after 7pm (except for flt 177 from HPN to
While this sad news is not surprising, what
is astonishing is the professional way the airline has handled its
bankruptcy. Since its announcement of bankruptcy in November, the
airline has kept every promise and met every deadline. It hasn't
asked for extensions, and has done everything it said it would, exactly
as it said it would. And the entire process lasted two short
months, including the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year holidays.
Other airlines in bankruptcy could well
learn from this.
Here is the entire text of Independence's
Dulles, VA, (January 2, 2006) – FLYi,
Inc., (Nasdaq: FLYIQ) parent of low-fare airline Independence Air,
announced today that because of the continued financial challenges
facing the company, it will voluntarily discontinue all scheduled
flights planned to depart after 7:00pm on the evening of Thursday,
January 5th. The company is seeking bankruptcy court approval to
automatically refund customers with reservations for flights
scheduled to depart beyond that time.
Customers with roundtrip reservations
for trips departing before the cessation of operations (including
those customers who have already departed) but were scheduled to
return afterwards will be contacted by Independence Air and offered
the opportunity to change their return reservations to one of the
remaining days of operation. All change fees will be waived for
changes made by phone. The company is also seeking bankruptcy court
approval to automatically refund customers for those return flights
that are not rescheduled. No refunds will be offered for free
tickets or vouchers.
Customers whose trips are scheduled
between now and Thursday evening should expect the same excellent
service that Independence Air has become known for.
Independence Air Chairman and CEO Kerry
Skeen said, “While we’ve been clear in reminding everyone that this
was a possibility, we remained optimistic that there would be a way
to avoid reaching this juncture. To date there has not been a firm
offer put forward that meets the financial criteria necessary to
continue operations as is. Therefore, we are voluntarily
discontinuing scheduled service as of Thursday evening.
We offer our sincere thanks to the over
eight million customers who have flown with us since the launch of
Independence Air, and to the communities across America that we have
Skeen continued. “And most importantly,
we thank our extraordinary employees for creating an airline brand
that has been so universally praised by our customers. Our people
have demonstrated that they are capable of operating an airline that
quickly rose to the top of the rankings in every major independent
survey of airline quality and customer satisfaction. And while this
is a profoundly sad day for all of us, we could not be more proud of
our employees and everything they have accomplished.”
Customers are urged to visit the
airline’s www.FLYi.com website if they have further questions as
callers to the company’s toll-free number will likely experience
long wait times.
Independence Air began service on June
16, 2004 and currently offers over 200 daily departures to 37
The company has advised the public, and
reiterates, that the likely outcome of the company’s bankruptcy
proceeding is the cancellation of the company’s existing common
stock without consideration, making FLYi stock of no value.
We are diminished by Independence's passing.
But you can bet that air fares on the routes they served will not be
diminished - quite the opposite.
My article on
with Bankrupt Airlines sets out some more about the very limited
'rights' you have if you're stuck with Independence Air tickets you
Until Friday (unless any other airlines
cease operation between now and then) please enjoy safe travels