Aviation News


BREAKING: World Airways Immediately Shutting Down

Following on the heels of competitor Evergreen International Airlines, World Airways CEO John Graber announced earlier today that World will cease operations immediately, and remaining operating businesses including North American Airlines will see significant reductions. In an email to staff, Graber said “the decisions were made by each Company Board of Directors based upon the events of this week.”

After filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection last November, the final nail in World’s coffin, according to Graber, was the inability to secure further funding from Cerberus, World’s first lien lender. “Without that funding, (World) no longer had the money needed to operate. As we’ve told everyone for some months now, there are no other lenders or potential partners in the marketplace who will back World,” Graber said, adding that World Airways flew its last flight yesterday.

Global is now working to secure North American’s future and expects to know by tomorrow how that will proceed. (Update: North American Airlines is clinging to life as a new owner is sought.)

World Airways held employee meetings were held this morning, promising that additional communication concerning the shutdown would be forthcoming. “This turn of events has occurred so quickly that we have many unanswered questions and will need to provide additional updates as the information becomes available,” Graber said.

The shutdown of World Airways and tenuous future of North American Airlines leaves Atlas Air as the dominant cargo carrier based in the United States.

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NYCAviation Staff



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  • Carla Ingle McCullough

    If all the lying, cheating crooks had quit bleeding World dry after the last bankruptcy there might have been a chance. I hang my head in shame as I worked there for nearly 13 years. It’s a very sad day as this is the eve of World Airways 67th birthday. Sad

  • Honor Burrows

    Exactly Carla. If all the executives who put World in bankruptcy were forced to return the millions and millions of dollars that they paid themselves, then this would never have happened. Sickening.

  • R B Quinn

    As activities related to George W (Weapons of Mass Deception) Bush’s wars of choice wind down, military industrial complex requirements will diminish.

    • David Mares

      If it weren’t for George W’s war, both airlines would have yanked long ago. Especially after the Exec’s threw all our eggs in one basket. Big mistake!!

      • Olympic Eagle

        The biggest threat was the significant wide body/below deck cargo capacity of the middle east airlines. A lot of freight between North America and China actually move over the middle east. Emerits is the the third largest airline in the world in terms of ASMs. Freight is not concerned about route circuity and below deck capacity is always cheaper than dedicated freighters.

    • Sandi Ewing

      So you are one of the IDIOTS that voted for Obama! Congratulations, asshole!

      • .j.

        …more than likely…

    • smokey-oki

      You libtards will be blaming “dubya” forever it seems. And why not, it deflects attention away from the world class Muslim brotherhood lover and deceiver, the accomplice to murder in Benghazi that you put in the WH and a plethora of fools in the Soviet style politburo called the U.S. Senate. Yep, we’re making progress alright, on our way down the proverbial poop chute leading straight to hell, economically, militarily and morally. I’d take Jimmy Carter over this lying sack of….and that speaks volumes.

    • Navy5717th

      RB: We’ve been out of Iraq for several years now, and this is the fifth year of the war in Afghanistan. When, if ever, is President Obama going to take ownership of that debacle? Btw, EVERY intelligence service in the world said that Saddam Hussein had WMD. Why don’t you try to stick to the issue at hand and stop picking on President Bush who hasn’t been in office for 4-plus years. You’re correct that transportation requirements will diminish as the Afghanistan War comes to an end — just as — are you ready for this? — they have after every war we’ve fought in the 20th and 21st centuries

      • Joe

        Not everyone thought there were WMD. Not me. Not anyone I know. Not Hans Blix. We all thought that the WMD “threat” was about getting oil. I think we were right.

        I am very sorry that yet another airline has closed down. It’s not the union’s fault – plenty of airlines are profitable despite having strong unions (check out LH, BA and a number of domestic operations like QF, etc.). It is usually management’s fault – how many of them walked out with tons of money, while the rest of the employees have nothing?

        • Navy5717th

          Well, excuuuuuse me, Joe. If you and Hans Blix (and some of the boys down at the union hall) didn’t think there were WMD in Iraq, that settles it. There couldn’t have been any.

          Joe, you may know a lot how to fly or maintain airplanes, but you don’t know jack about what was going on in Iraq.

          Saddam Hussein must’ve mass-murdered tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens by forcing them to sniff glue or breath cattle flatulence,right.

          Heads up, Joe. Surprise, surprise, surprise … Chemical and biological weapons are WMD! “Savants” like you are dangerously unaware of that.

          You asked a question, to which you must THINK you know the answer. How about sharing it with us? How many in management have “walked out with tons of money” when their companies went out of business?

          It’s just like I said. If your business is dedicated to supporting overseas military operations — and those operations begin to shut down — your business will, too. Sorry to see World go, but those are the breaks.

          Btw, I personally knew someone in airline management who didn’t walk out with tons of money.. He was a sharp aviator, a capable manager, and one of the finest men I’ve ever known. He came out his company’s demise with NOTHING.

          • VR

            I can’t believe these idiots can’t connect the dots. The WMD’s which Saddam Hussein DID IN FACT HAVE are the same WMD’s that were transferred to Syria. They still exist folks. We know they were manufactured; they didn’t just disappear into thin air.

  • D.J. Frost

    It’s the movie “Wall Street” becoming reality and unfortunately this time Gordon Geeko won!

  • Chuck Barton

    Not sure what happened after Vietnam, but I am pretty sure World Airways went into hibernation after the last servicemen left there. I was surprised to see them pop up again with all the military contracts for the Gulf and Afghan wars.

  • .j.

    r b quinn, like it or not, without 41 and 43, you’d already be paying
    3.75 a gallon for gas. better enjoy that while you have it. ever heard
    the saying “these ARE the good ol’ days” ?

    see, the collection
    of idiots now abusing the constitution and driving our great nation into
    a smoking crater think 3.75 a gallon isn’t enough. 8.75 a gallon is
    more in line, because the prices are astronomical in europe so they
    should also be astronomical here. that’s fair, right?


    you really, REALLY want to point a finger, you should start with
    langhorne bond…remember that liberal? he served as head of the faa
    under the grand master king of lousy, stupid, inept presidents, none
    other than the idiot pacifist apologist jimmy carter.

    god bless the fine people of WO. i hope you find peace.

    • Tovena Dan

      Spoken like a true CONservative. And yes, this is George Bush’s fault. WAKE UP!

      • .j.

        Laying the blame at 41 or 43’s feet is not entirely fair. I personally can’t stand either of them and I do not and did not support their actions. In the bigger picture, one can glance back at history and see that largely speaking…the current state of affairs in America are the direct result of decades of failed policies of the PROGRESSIVE persuasion.

        You have to fight fire with fire. Little Georgie wasn’t the only one who believed Saddam had nasty weapons.

        Remember the UN, and their strudel-smacking Hans Blix? Now THATS what I call getting your money’s worth…if I were some piss-poor third world nation run by a despot dictator I would be scared to death.

        Have you flown recently? How are you liking the CHOICES available, and the fares?

        Been to the grocery store lately? How are you liking the prices there?

        How about your paycheck? Has your employer been giving you regular raises to keep pace with the rising cost of everything else?

        It kind of sucks, doesn’t it?

  • Darrell Adams

    Thats whats happens when you allow the union drive a company in the ground with thier greed. They never supported the company.

    • Mickey Stubbs

      Seriously Darrell? We could have worked for free and the pigs at the trough would have still taken every last dime.

    • pix

      Darrell you know that is not true. The Union bent over backwards to cover for the Company’s stupid mistakes and keep the planes flying.

      • AniTzioni

        A union bending over backwards? Yeah, right, backwards to screw every member out of their hard earned money, and then squandering that money on crooked Democratic politicians who supposedly care for the working man. Give me a break – wake up!

    • Christian Joffson

      You are 100% wrong Darrell. It’s the unions that kept the company going up to the shutdown point. We gave up 58% of our pay when we tried to save the company duing the first bankruptcy. Like Mickey said, we could have worked for nothing and they would have stiil raided what was left. Did you forget who robbed the company bleeding it to it’s death? Robbing it of ever penny? Binns and his crew. And Graber and his henchmen are not any different. He is just a much slicker liar. Most of us never bought his twisted tongue lies.

  • Calvin

    Global economic slow down has forced all B747 Freighter carriers to park aircraft and operate at revenue levels below profitability in hopes that economic recovery will arrive before Chapter 7 or 11

    Iraq/Afghan military cargo flight demand supported Evergreen, World, National, Kalitta, Southern, and Atlas for past 10years. All are now enduring massive cargo revenue declines since U.S. pulled out of Iraq.

    Combined with poor -to- non-existent commercial revenues to replace Military earnings will continue to force more of these carriers in to financial troubles.

    Global consumer spending must recover by this fall/Christmas to prevent other all-cargo air carriers from failing in 2015.

    • Olympic Eagle

      Also, a lot of freight is moving on Emerites, Ethihad and Qatar wide bodies over the Middle East. These airlines are huge! Freight is not sensitive to circuitous routings.

  • joe

    I was the lead for adi we did the A check this weekend for the 747 everything went great and we’re excited to have more aircraft coming but I guess that’s the end of the world

  • Olympic Eagle

    As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise”. The ACMI model is a flawed model and betting on the next war makes no sense.

  • Fernando Paladines

    BUT NAA is still around, so how could they say that they are closing down…NAA is part of World…

    • World and NAA are two separate airlines, just owned by the same holding company.

  • Doug Demsko

    Once the Cadillac of Charter lines!

  • Art Pittbull Pittman

    Reminds Me of; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: “Frank Lorenzo and The Destruction of Eastern Airlines”

    • Tovena Dan

      Yup. Corporate raiders.

    • Engrid

      ..and Pan Am

      • davidglass

        and TWA

  • audioengineeraviationlover

    Oh no… this gave me a huge knot in my stomach. I kind of expected this to happen sooner or late, but( and I know everyone will tred on me for this), I LOVE DC-10’s .. and now that World Airways seems to basically be no longer, the rare joy of looking forward to seeing one of their DC-10’s if it happens to come by, will be gone now. Sad.

  • Daniel Corral Jr

    How does a cell phone bring down a plane?

  • davy kustermans

    Same thing over and over again, everywhere…i feel for you guys!

  • Thomas Gerald

    World Airways pilots are the most arrogant, self important stuffed shirts ever. Good luck getting a job with “World Airways” on your resume …

    • CM811

      Go to hell. My Dad flew for them for 20+ years and now for what? He missed so much of my life for an airline that we now know wouldn’t spit if their employees were on fire. Shame on you- take your self serving trash talk somewhere else.

      • al davis

        Yeah my buddy works for them and he isnt much of a jerk

    • Flightcrew

      They are actually really nice guys and humble. I don’t know one single bad World Airways Pilot — not one (RK Smithly wouldn’t have hired a bad pilot!)

  • Steve Appleby

    I just pushed out the last world airlines flight here at Baltimore. I remember flying on world airlines on my way over to Afghanistan. Sad day indeed. An airline with a lot of history.

  • Thomas Long

    I talked to Obozo and he read of the teleprompter, my government isn’t interested unless you’re too big to fail. Too bad.

  • Vernon Lowd

    So sad to see it happen .I remember when —–.
    Our whole family have been “Airline People ”
    Sisters with Pan Am & National , Wife with Eastern , ( till the end ) She worked the last flight to So. America & was flown back on A.A. Then worked at A.A. till she had to take ” early retirement ” . So wee can feel the pain .
    Do you think the unions will ever stop blaming management & that management will ever stop blaming the unions .

  • Jerry Pappe

    What a shame! I retired from World in 2001 as a QC Inspector. World did alright by me!

  • Stuck Military

    I would like to thank World Airways for stranding all of the troops overseas who should be leaving the war zone!

  • ComradeAnon

    They got Bained!

  • edsbart

    As a former Flight Attendant in the 70s and 80s My heart goes out to all the F/As I remember in 1986 World told us there was going to be personal layoffs around 1000 , but in July of 86 World called all F/As who were doing there job around the world ( I was in LAX ) and said we were going to lay off 2500 , I was in that group , Im sorry to see this happen , ED DALY must being rolling in his grave , shame on the management
    ED GARCIA [email protected]
    if any former F/As are out there I miss you all , you were my family

  • Brian Cooke Jr.

    I can’t speak for what happened past ~1984, but I know my dad, Brian Cooke Sr, Ed Daly’s right hand for a number of years, dedicated his life to seeing World succeed in the 70s and early 80s. My thoughts go out to all those affected by this bad news.