Local News

Midway Airlines Lays Off Most Remaining Workers, Will Fly No More

Posted September 13, 2001

— The terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have claimed a local victim -- Midway Airlines.

Already in a precarious situation, Midway announced Wednesday that it will fly no more.

Midway's 1,700 employees are looking for work. Planes will go back to lessors, and the company will try to protect its remaining assets for creditors.

Tuesday's terrorist attack and the grounding of air travel were the final straw.

"Today we've made a determination to suspend flight operations indefinitely," Midway Airlines Chief Executive Officer Bob Ferguson said.

"With Midway in the financial trouble that it was, it just put the final nail in the coffin, so to speak," former Midway employee Bob Cardin said.

As laid-off Midway employees filed out, they hugged and talked about how quickly the end came.

"Let me put you on hold while I ask to my supervisor about your ticket. I put him on hold and talked to my supervisor, and someone comes in the room, and says, 'Everyone put your customers on hold,' and says, 'We're out. We're gone,'" said former reservation agent Mesa Somer.

The airline said it will pay employees laid off on Wednesday, and hopes to make payments of back wages and benefits to those laid off a month ago. That is up to the bankruptcy court. Refunds are being offered those holding Midway tickets.

The decision to shut down was made Wednesday morning as travelers began canceling their reservations.

"Business people had by and large all canceled their trips for the next two weeks, and then focusing on what was going on in reservations in particular, what people were basically saying was 'We don't want to fly on anybody,'" Ferguson said.

"Obviously, to the customers we'd say, 'Thanks, we appreciate your support, we enjoyed being your carrier of choice.' To the employees I guess I'd say, 'Thanks for all your hard work. You ran a really fine airline.'"

Midway must also figure out how to repay a $7 million loan, part of a $15 million commitment from Wexford Capital.

Ticketholder Information:

Holders of tickets for future travel on Midway will be entitled to refunds or recommendation on other air carriers. Midway will attempt to contact all such ticket holders to make appropriate arrangements.

Midway is working with other carriers to reaccommodate passengers. Full refunds are also available if passengers choose.

Instructions for Reaccommodation or Refunds:

Midway customers can go to the company ticket office from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The office is at 2801 Concourse Lakes, behind the Outlet Mall in Morrisville, just off I-40.

  • If you have a refundable electronic ticket (Easy Ticket) purchased directly from Midway Airlines you may submit a request for a refund to Midway by e-mail at

    refunds@midwayair.com

    , by fax at 919-468-1193 addressed to Refunds Department, or by mail to: Midway Airlines Refund Department, 2801 Slater Road, Suite 200 Morrisville, NC 27560.

  • If you purchased your ticket from a travel agent, you should return the ticket to that agency. Travel agents can process refunds and exchanges for tickets purchased through their office.
  • If you have paper tickets, you must return the unused tickets and/or coupons to Midway Refunds Department at the above address. Your refund will be processed after receipt of the paper tickets.
  • Tickets purchased by credit card will be refunded back to that same card.
  • Tickets purchased by cash or check will be refunded by check from Midway headquarters from 8:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m.
  • Effective immediately, Midway will begin returning aircraft to their lessors and will solicit purchasers for the various assets it owns or controls. Midway anticipates paying all obligations incurred following its Chapter 11 filing and proposing a Plan of Reorganization to deal with all obligations which arose prior to the Chapter 11 filing.

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