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National Airlines Files Bankruptcy

December 7, 2000

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ National Airlines is seeking protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of U.S. bankruptcy law as it reorganizes its business. The airline blamed its financial troubles on rising fuel costs.

The company filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada.

The Las Vegas-based airline said its service will not be interrupted.

``Once we have completed the reorganization process, we expect National Airlines to emerge as a stronger company with a sound financial structure that is appropriate not only for today’s level of business activity, but also for the future,″ Michael J. Conway, president and chief executive officer of National, said in a press release.

``The decision to file for Chapter 11 protection was difficult, but necessary in order to protect our ability to meet our obligations to our customers.″

National Airlines, marketed as a hometown airline that could bring more tourists to Las Vegas, began service on May 27, 1999. At the time, Las Vegas tourism officials and political leaders were complaining that some carriers had cut back on Las Vegas service, opting for more lucrative business routes.

On July 27, the company made national headlines when a 22-year-old man got on a flight at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, put a gun to a pilot’s head and began a five-hour standoff.

National offers service to Chicago Midway, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, N.J. New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C. Service to Chicago O’Hare is scheduled to begin on Jan. 25.

In September, the company had its 2 millionth passenger.

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