Kitty Hawk lays off 500 workers

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Air freight company Kitty Hawk on Monday, Oct. 29, announced that it had laid off about 500 employees and would immediately halt all scheduled network air and ground operations because of decreased demand.

The Dallas-based company said its financial condition has deteriorated “significantly” over the last year, including a 15 percent year-over-year decrease in demand for its less-than-truckload ground product and a 25 percent decrease in year-over-year demand for its air product. Kitty Hawk also said record high diesel and jet prices contributed to its inability to continue full operations.

Kitty Hawk, which will continue to operate air cargo charter operations, filed for bankruptcy Oct. 15, but said it has been unable to secure a buyer for all or a portion of its assets, or new sources of financing. In bankruptcy filing, Kitty Hawk said it had 776 employees, including 671 full-time workers, compared with 849 employees in late March.

The company, which has its headquarters at Dallas/Fort-Worth Airport, has been trying to restructure its domestic freight operations with a newer fuel-efficient aircraft and a small ground network aimed at addressing competition from other trucking companies. The airline reported net losses of $19.9 million in the first six months of 2007 and more than $34 million since Jan. 1, 2006.