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ATA Flight Attendants Union Responds As Airline Shuts Down Abruptly

Date: April 3, 2008

Washington, DC - For the second time in one week, a U.S. airline has ceased operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Today, ATA Airlines announced that it would discontinue all operations, just hours after filing for bankruptcy. ATA flight attendant union leaders were notified early this morning of the shutdown and immediately put together a detailed plan to assist the over 750 ATA flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA).

"This is another devastating blow to flight attendants and AFA-CWA is mobilizing support and assistance for all of our ATA colleagues during this difficult time," said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. "First and foremost, our main goal is to ensure that all ATA flight attendants are able to return home. We will do everything in our power to see to it that the rights of our ATA members are protected in bankruptcy court."

AFA-CWA's legal team, employee assistance representatives and other volunteers from across the union are available and moving into place to assist ATA flight attendants in accessing available resources.

ATA was founded in 1973 and began operations as a charter carrier, commencing scheduled service in 1986.  ATA was a leading carrier for the U.S. military, operating missions around the globe for many years. In 1999, ATA gained major carrier status after surpassing $1 billion in annual revenues.  In 2005, ATA entered into a comprehensive code-share agreement with Southwest Airlines and emerged from Chapter 11 restructuring in 2006.  ATA flight attendants joined AFA-CWA in 1991.

For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill.  More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.

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