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January 11, 2013

Charter Carrier Ryan International Airlines Grounds All Flights, Seeks Liquidation

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A Ryan International Airlines Boeing 767-300ER (N764RD) spotted in Miami. (Photo by Mark Lawrence)

Ryan International Airlines, a Rockford, Illinois-based charter carrier, on Friday ended flights, laid off all its employees and planned to liquidate its assets.

Not long after NYCAviation began hearing reports of the airline’s impending doom Friday afternoon, Rockford’s WREX TV confirmed the shutdown.

Sure enough, as the day progressed, an “Under Construction” banner replaced the company’s regular homepage. No more information about the Ryan fleet, no price quotes, nor even a “Contact Us.” All that remained was a link for employees to check their email and benefits info.

Ryan (no relation to Ireland’s Ryanair) had sought to reorganize its finances under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection beginning in 2012 after losing a key US Department of Homeland Security contract. The company officially changed its bankruptcy status to Chapter 7 liquidation on Friday.

A letter to employees from Ryan Chief Restructuring Officer Jeff Potter obtained by WREX cited a steep drop in US military charter work for the company’s fall, and the failure of one of its lessees, Turkey’s AtlasJet, to pay for their plane. Potter did leave open the possibility of resuming at some point, but obviously not anytime soon.

Founded in 1972, Ryan International specialized initially in hauling mail for the US Postal Service, and later carrying passengers for tour companies, the military and the US Department of Homeland Security. At the end the Ryan fleet consisted of one Boeing 767-300ER, one Boeing 757-200 and a Airbus A330-200 which was sub-leased to AtlasJet.

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