Company Fights Dismissal As Military Cargo Carrier
MIAMI (AP) _ Arrow Air has filed suit in federal court to fight a Defense Department decision dropping the airline as a cargo carrier following the crash of a charter in which 256 people died.
The department suspended passenger flight contracts with Arrow shortly after the Dec. 12 crash in Gander, Newfoundland. Eight crew members and 248 U.S. troops died.
In dropping Arrow Air for cargo hauling, the department ″determined Arrow was not able to perform airlift services for DOD in 1987,″ said Capt. Thomas LaRock of the Military Airlift Command at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The command is in charge of awarding and administering international military air charters.
The Defense Department officially ended its association with Arrow Air on Oct. 1.
Arrow filed suit earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Washington, asking to be reinstated as an approved cargo carrier. A hearing is scheduled Thursday.
Arrow argued that it was dropped without notice or sufficient evidence and without consideration for its overall performance record.
Arrow received about $22 million last year from military contracts.
If Arrow should lose its court battle, the company expects to make up the loss by flying non-military cargo on Latin American and Caribbean routes, said spokesman Robert Matell. He said none of the company’s 100 employees are in danger of being laid off.