Farewell Party for Low-Cost Airline ATA Called Off

Low-cost airline ATA will end service in Fort Wayne quietly, after all. A public sendoff slated for Monday has been canceled.

Representatives from ATA could not fit the event into their schedules, prompting Fort Wayne International Airport officials to cancel the event Thursday with no plans to reschedule, said Sandra Lux, community affairs manager for the airport.

ATA announced in January that its Fort Wayne service would end. The airlines final flight will depart for Indianapolis at 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Lux said ATA representatives asked airport officials to reschedule the going-away party, but because ATA will be history in Fort Wayne after Monday, airport officials decided against it.

No money had been spent preparing the sendoff, Lux said. Plans included inviting representatives from Mayor Graham Richards office and the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce. A short ceremony and cookies for ATAs final Fort Wayne passengers also were planned.

Our main point was we wanted to use it as a way to thank the community, Lux said.

ATA representatives could not be reached for comment.

ATA filed for protection under federal bankruptcy in October. Airport officials expressed shock when ATA announced plans to end service in Fort Wayne.

The number of passengers at the airport increased to nearly 390,000 in 2004 from about 306,000 the previous year. Airport officials said ATA accounted for much of the boon.

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