UAL-Bye Bye Avolar

Ualexpress

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CHICAGO (Reuters) - UAL Corp.UAL.N , parent of United Airlines, said on Friday it will shut its business jet unit, Avolar, after finding no viable options for the company in an industry hurt by the Sept. 11 attacks and the weak economy.

UAL said earlier in March it had stopped seeking outside investors for Avolar, which offered part ownership in corporate jets, and planned no further investment of its own.

The No. 2 U.S. carrier formed Avolar in May 2001 to tap corporate America's appetite for business jet travel, but UAL posted an industry record net loss of $2.1 billion last year following the attacks and the weak economy.

UAL decided to look for outside investors for the start-up following the attacks, but a months-long search was called off in early March and Avolar President Stuart Oran stepped down.

In a short statement, UAL Chief Executive Jack Creighton said closing Avolar was "the most prudent move possible."

Creighton, who took over as chief executive in October, said closing the unit would protect United from further financial exposure and help it focus on core business.

"The real message here is that you have new management at United," industry consultant Michael Boyd said. "This shows that they are refocusing on the airline industry, on their core business."

UAL said it has started to notify Avolar customers of the closing and anticipates an orderly shutdown. There is no timetable for closing Avolar, which has 83 employees.

UAL had invested $102 million in Avolar through January, according to regulatory filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It could face a significant write-off if the new strategy fails, UAL said in the March filing.

"I think this is a very positive thing," Boyd said. "It says United Airlines is turning around; actually, it's as good as turned around when you have that kind of management there. It took guts for him to do this because they've got a lot of money tied up in Avolar."

Avolar offered shares in Beechjets made by Raytheon Co. RTN.N , Learjets by Bombardier Inc.BBDb.TO , Gulfstreams by General Dynamics Corp. GD.N and Falcons by Dassault Aviation.
 

delaatmx

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Picking up again

It is sad that Avolar is not continueing, but does it have some thing to do with the fact tha United is recalling all it furloughees and is going to hire an additional 900. ( I heared it on one of news networks)
Can anybody conferm this.
Good luck
 

Chocks

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No Pilots

UAL is recalling a bunch of employees - 2200 according to Denver Post, but NO pilots. In fact, there is talk of furloughing another 200 and change in June.
 
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