Judge says he will order liquidation of Midway Airlines assets

Thursday, October 30th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ A federal bankruptcy judge said Thursday he would order the liquidation of the assets of Midway Airlines, a regional carrier for US Airways that had fought for two years to stay in business despite mounting financial problems.

``Sometimes, despite the best efforts, reorganization efforts don't work out,'' Judge A. Thomas Small said. He did not say when he would issue the order.

Midway Airlines' attorney Gerald Juetter Jr. said the carrier had been unable to reach an agreement with its 85 pilots and was converting its attempted bankruptcy reorganization into a liquidation plan.

``Midway surrenders,'' Juetter said. As of Wednesday, the company had 188 employees.

Jack Butler, an attorney representing US Airways, said the company had loaned Midway $8.6 million since December to keep it flying as a commuter feeder airline for US Airways. But Midway is running out of money and has been unable to operate its entire flight schedule in the past month, Butler said.

Midway parked its eight aircraft Wednesday night, pending the bankruptcy hearing, and was not expected to resume flights. It had been flying 30 daily round trips.

``We will accommodate customers on other US Airways flights or those of other airlines,'' US Airways spokesman David Castelveter said.

Midway Chief Executive Robert Ferguson said he expected the company's assets to be sold within three or four months. The assets total almost $50 million, primarily two jets owned by Midway and spare parts, he said.

The company, which once had a fleet of 40 planes, filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2001, listing assets of $318 million and liabilities of $232 million. The company posted losses of $15 million in 2000 and another $15 million in the first six months of 2001.