US-based carrier World Airways operated its last flight on 27 March. The carrier, which was in its 65th year, operated both passenger and freighter aircraft. Although it had conducted both ACMI and commercial charter operations, it main business was flying on behalf of the US Military.
With the US winding down its military involvement in the Middle East, carriers that depended on military business increasingly fell on hard times. World was no exception, and in fact had entered Chapter 11 protection last November, along with sister carrier North American Airlines and parent Global Aviation Holdings. In the company’s own words: “World Airways has been in the marketplace for some months seeking funding to help it restructure in chapter 11 bankruptcy, and has been unable to secure that financing. Tuesday World Airways’ first lien holder [Cerberus] declared World in default on its loan and stopped providing the airline funding. World Airways has started the process of winding down its operations.” On 28 March, World laid-off 325 employees, including 109 pilots and 146 flight attendants.
At the time of the shutdown, World operated one 747-400BDSF, one MD-11F, and two MD-11s in passenger configuration.
North American Airlines, which operates passenger service using four 767-300ERs will continue operations “with plans to emerge from bankruptcy in the near future.”