Following on the heels of competitor Evergreen International Airlines, World Airways CEO John Graber announced earlier today that World will cease operations immediately, and remaining operating businesses including North American Airlines will see significant reductions. In an email to staff, Graber said “the decisions were made by each Company Board of Directors based upon the events of this week.”
After filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection last November, the final nail in World’s coffin, according to Graber, was the inability to secure further funding from Cerberus, World’s first lien lender. “Without that funding, (World) no longer had the money needed to operate. As we’ve told everyone for some months now, there are no other lenders or potential partners in the marketplace who will back World,” Graber said, adding that World Airways flew its last flight yesterday.
Global is now working to secure North American’s future and expects to know by tomorrow how that will proceed.
World Airways held employee meetings were held this morning, promising that additional communication concerning the shutdown would be forthcoming. “This turn of events has occurred so quickly that we have many unanswered questions and will need to provide additional updates as the information becomes available,” Graber said.
The shutdown of World Airways and tenuous future of North American Airlines leaves Atlas Air as the dominant cargo carrier based in the United States.