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Mar 26, 2020, 2:41pm EDT
A Miami-based charter airline specializing in large group travel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Miami Air International incorporated in 1990, has a fleet of six Boeing 737-800 aircraft chartered for group travel, with clients including sports teams and conference groups. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, business in recent weeks has “ground to a halt,” according to the recently filed bankruptcy declaration.
As of Feb. 29, the company had $24.1 million in assets and $24.7 million in liabilities. According to the filing, Miami Air had $111.8 million in operating revenue last year.
According to court documents, the airline is currently only scheduled to fly certain flights for the U.S. military under the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program. All other bookings have been canceled as conferences, performances and sporting events nationwide have been canceled for social distancing purposes.
“These are unprecedented financial times for all sectors of the global economy,” the filing stated. “However, by the filing this Chapter 11 case, Miami Air is hopeful that its business operations will follow the same trajectory as happened in the wake of previous global disruptions, such as the terrorist attacks of September 11, or the global financial crisis of 2007-09, and revert to normal in the near future.”
Miami Air International employed 341 people. The company is laying off 173 employees, effective Friday. Some of the layoffs are expected to be temporary.
Additionally, the company requested to reject three of its six current leases for Boeing aircraft. According to the filing, that would save the company $600,000 a month in lease obligations, as well as additional maintenance expenses. Miami Air would re-evaluate adding more planes to its fleet once demand picks up again. Each 737-800 aircraft can accommodate 189 passengers.