After suspending all of its scheduled flights in the middle of the spring break travel season last week, there probably was not much left to do. White knights are few and far between in this economy. Initially they promised a resumption of service on March 15. This resumption was delayed until May 15. Now that option has gone. Court documents show the company has at least $10 million in debt and just $500,000 to $1 million in assets
This is not a carrier I have tried. Their model was slightly different as they had no aircraft. Instead Direct would sell seats on services and then contract other carriers to fly those services. They started flying in 2007 from the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to three destinations. They had 16 destinations as at their grounding date including their Myrtle Beach hub:
- Fort Myers, Lakeland, Orlando, West Palm Beach in Florids
- Rockford (Chicago area) and Springfield in Illinois
- Worcester (south of Boston) in Massachusetts
- Kalamazoo/Battle Creek in Michigan
- Newark, New Jersey
- Nigara Falls, Plattsburgh in New York
- Columbus, Toledo in Ohio
- Allentown and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania
As with other groundings this year passengers had little notice and were stranded in airports around the country. Surely there must be some system or scheme that automatically guarantees a passenger will get home if a carrier goes bust?
The collapse will also impact significantly on a number of smaller airports in the USA which will hurt those local economies significantly.
One more bit of trivia: no new airlines have started this year and with rising oil prices, I cannot see any more. In fact, I am expecting a grim year for airline closures.