the beginning of 2005, the airline drastically reduced
flights at its Indianapolis hub to only three
destinations and centered scheduled flights at Chicago
Midway International Airport in order to complement
Southwest Airlines codeshare flights. ATA also focused
on serving markets that are business oriented and do not
have Southwest service, such as San Francisco,
Dallas/Fort Worth, and New York–LaGuardia. Additionally,
ATA began offering point-to-point service not connecting
to its Midway Hub, as to benefit other Southwest
Airlines focus cities, such as Las Vegas, Orlando, and
Phoenix, with connections to non-Southwest destinations
such as Denver and Hawaii. Southwest CEO, Gary Kelly,
said that revenues were up nearly 20% due to the new
March 28, 2005, ATA shut down its commuter airline
service, Chicago Express/ATA Connection, and later sold
the assets to a private buyer. In attempt to reduce
operating costs, the airline also downsized its fleet by
returning twenty Boeing 737-800 and eight Boeing 757-300
aircraft, along with numerous Boeing 757-200 aircraft.
The eight 757-300 airframes were subsequently
refurbished by Boeing, the lessor, and then leased to
mid-2005, ATA entered an agreement to lease three
ex-United Airlines Boeing 737-300 aircraft. Three
737-300s entered service with ATA in late November 2005.
Due to high lease rates, the three 737-300s were taken
out of service in November 2007, and returned to their
In September 2005, ATA outsourced all
its Heavy Maintenance Checks to overseas and domestic
contractors. Also planned was an agreement with
Continental Airlines to trade ATA's remaining four
757-300 aircraft for four 737-700 aircraft. In early
October 2005, ATA terminated these negotiations due to
the Boeing machinists strike, which would delay the
delivery of the aircraft.
October 13, 2005, ATA announced major service
reductions, ending flights to Boston, Minneapolis/St.
Paul, and Newark. In addition, the planned addition of
flights to Miami and Sarasota, Florida was cancelled.
This ended Southwest codeshare service to Minneapolis
and Newark. Later that year, on November 1, 2005, a
second round of flight cuts were announced, including
the suspension of scheduled service to Denver, San Juan,
and their headquarters and former hub Indianapolis.
November 17, 2005, ATA Airlines received court approval
to sell its Ambassadair Travel Club division to
Grueninger Cruises and Tours. In a third round of cuts
announced on December 6, 2005, ATA announced that it
would discontinue service to three additional cities.
ATA would suspend flights from Chicago Midway
International Airport to San Francisco, Orlando, and
Fort Myers in late April 2006. Following these
cancellations, ATA would have only 18 daily scheduled
departures from its former Chicago hub and 52 scheduled
departures company-wide. Moreover, the company would be
left with only 1 gate at Midway, down from its previous
total of 14, surrendering the balance to Southwest or