Pennsylvania-based USA3000 Airlines, which once boasted a fleet of 14 planes and now has only about a third of that, will quietly close down in the new year.
The last scheduled flight for the small carrier is set for Jan. 30.
USA3000 Airlines – Player in the Caribbean
The airline, which was originally mostly charter flights for parent company Apple Vacations, grew into an airline serving Chicago, Pittsburgh and smaller cities in the East and Midwest primarily to Caribbean destinations.
How 9/11 Affected Airline
As USA3000 CEO John Mullen told Travel Weekly, timing was a problem from the start: “It took roughly three years, from 1998 until 2001, to get the license and approvals from the FAA. We had spent three years of our lives getting ready to fly. And then came 9/11.”
More recently, the airline began seeing more and more competition to various Caribbean hot spots.
Unlike American Airlines which declared bankruptcy last month, USA3000 decided to shut down rather than go into Chapter 11 because “we wanted to give [our employees] time to plan for the future,” and some have reportedly already found other jobs or retired.
The airline’s owner, travel packager Apple Vacations, will remain open for business.