National Airlines Grounded

US Airways honoring tickets issued to National passengers on a space-available basis, with a $25 change fee; Alaska, America West and Frontier also accepting National tickets on a standby basis for flights on the same day and to the same city.


National Airlines, the troubled Las Vegas-based carrier that continued flying while desperately seeking capital to stay in business, abruptly ceased operations Wednesday.

"We exhausted every possible viable alternative in seeking funding to maintain our ability to fly and serve hundreds of thousands of people each month," said Michael J. Conway, National's president and CEO, in a statement. "Unfortunately, we could not obtain the support necessary and were forced to make the very difficult decision to cease operations."

Reorganization efforts by the airline, which filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in late 2000, had recently been dealt two blows. Last month, it lost a backer that would have provided the carrier with a $2 million letter of credit, and in August the Air Transportation Stabilization Board rejected National's request for a $50.5 million federal loan guarantee.

Upon shutting down, the carrier said it will not issue refunds for tickets, but it encouraged customers who purchased tickets using MasterCard or Visa credit cards to apply for refunds through those companies.

US Airways ironically, also in Chapter 11 reorganization announced it will honor tickets issued to National passengers on a space-available basis, with a $25 change fee. Alaska, America West and Frontier also announced they would accept National tickets on a standby basis for flights on the same day and to the same city.

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