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
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.