Champion Air Ceases Operations

May 30, 2008 - On behalf of all ALPA pilots, Capt. Prater pledges continued support for the Champion Air pilots as they face the shutdown of their company:

“It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that we acknowledge the closure of Champion Air and the impact that will have on our Champion brothers and sisters. As you face this uncertain future, I want to assure you that support from ALPA and your MEC will continue – you will not have to face this challenge alone. We are sincerely grateful for the steadfast support and long-term efforts of the Champion pilots to improve our Union and our profession during their struggles with management. Your group has displayed unyielding unity under the leadership of your MEC Chairman Capt. Matt Marsh.

“I encourage you to take full advantage of all the resources and services ALPA has to offer you during this difficult time. I hope to see you back in an ALPA cockpit as soon as possible.”

Champion, a full-service, charter airline, will cease operations Saturday, May 31, after more than 12 years of service. Sky-rocketing fuel prices, the struggling economy, and a general decline in demand for charter services are attributed to the carrier’s shut-down. Formerly MGM Grand Air, Champion was based in Bloomington, Minn., and operated a fleet of Boeing 727-220s.