History Of Arrow Air
Arrow Air was
founded in 1950 by the visionary aviation pioneer, George Batchelor and
it was among the oldest air carriers in the
A key component in
the South Florida community for more than 57 years, Arrow was the
operated under the trade name ARROW CARGO provided scheduled air cargo
logistics services to and from, and between the
comprehensive market coverage provides overnight, airport to airport
service to more than 20 destinations in the
airside facilities at
The catalyst to Arrow’s performance is a fleet of all cargo aircraft. Expanding upon the highly reliable legacy fleet of DC-10s, Arrow was granted FAA Certification in May of 2009 to add the B-757-200 aircraft to the airline’s operating specifications. The addition of the B-757 aircraft provides Arrow an improved mix of cargo capacity, assuring Arrow’s ability to address client needs. Arrow Air transporting more than 1,200,000 LBS of freight per day throughout 2008.
Arrow Air filed
for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 1, 2010. The company shut
down all scheduled service operations and ceased flying and plans to
liquidate all assets. The company reported as much as $500 million in
debt. Arrow Air Holdings Corp. also sought protection. The bankruptcy
was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in
“After exhausting all viable potential purchasers and investors, the debtors made the difficult decision to cease scheduled service operations in order to preserve the existing value of their estates,” Doug Yakola, chief restructuring officer of Arrow Air, said in court papers. Arrow and Arrow Air Holdings Corp. emerged from bankruptcy in June 2004 through a confirmed plan of reorganization.
“maintaining the airline operating authorities and the potential for
undertaking charter flying in the event a potential purchaser can be
consummated in Chapter 11,” Yakola said. The case is In re Arrow Air
Inc., 10-28831, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Florida (
On May 26, 1981, Arrow Air relaunched as a charter airline
Low fares were causing the company to lose money. In
October 1984, it canceled several routes, including Tampa-London. At the
same time, the company reoriented its route structure from an east-west
alignment to a north-south one, reported Aviation Week & Space
In 1985, more than one million people flew Arrow to 245
destinations in 72 countries. Arrow was operating McDonnell Douglas
DC-10 and McDonnell Douglas DC-8 aircraft. Like other start-ups, Arrow
contracted some functions to other airlines. United Airlines trained its
This accounted for only a small segment of Arrow's
revenues. Most of its business came from scheduled service from
On December 12, 1985, one of the company's McDonnell
Douglas DC-8s crashed after takeoff in
Arrow filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization on 11
February 1986, laying off 400 employees. However, operations continued.
Richard Haberly was named president of Arrow Air in 1987. Arrow's wet
lease business—the practice of hiring out planes complete with crews and
fuel—began to pick up again.
In 1989, Arrow began leasing a McDonnell Douglas DC-8 to
Lot Polish Airlines for a
Rates for Latin American cargo fell 15 percent in the early
Market conditions were not Arrow's only worries. The FAA
grounded Arrow in March 1995, charging the carrier had improperly
documented maintenance. A company spokesman countered that the grounding
was unfair and was related simply to the FAA's request that Arrow print
out a hard copy of its fleet records, which were stored electronically.
Company officials blamed the affair on a disgruntled
employee who had been fired for theft. Arrow contracted other carriers
to handle its business during the crisis. British Airways, for example,
handled the route between
Soon, Arrow was carrying more international freight at
Cabeza had been vice-president of operations at Arrow.
Arrow failed to profit from the upswing in the economy in 1997. It lost
$15.1 million for the year on revenues of $88.3 million. The company had
posted losses of $11.3 million in 1996 on revenues of $61.1 million.
Arrow started a new weekly service from
After a few difficult years, Arrow was acquired by Fine Air Services in early 1999 (the deal was finalized in April) from International Air Leases Inc. for $115 million. Frank and Barry Fine, owners of Fine Air, planned to keep Arrow's brand name viable and continued to emphasize scheduled, rather than charter, cargo service
Included in the purchase were 13 McDonnell Douglas DC-8
aircraft, four Lockheed L-1011's, 130 jet engines, and spare parts. The
buy gave Arrow access to Fine's 133,000-square-foot refrigerated
distribution facility for handling perishables, which made up the bulk
of Latin American cargo.
Unfortunately, Fine Air had its own set of woes resulting
from a fatal crash of one of its McDonnell Douglas DC-8's in August
1997. This scuttled Fine's planned $123 million initial public offering.
Rising fuel costs, a downturn in the Latin American market, and debt
left over from its Arrow Air acquisition combined to make the airline
Fine lost $108 million in 2000 on revenues of $152 million,
and another $36 million on 2001 revenues of $148 million. The company
filed for bankruptcy on September 27, 2000, and subsequently merged with
Arrow Air, Inc., leaving behind the Fine Air Services name. The Fine
family would no longer control the company. It emerged from Chapter 11
in May 2002 as a unit of Arrow Air Holdings Corp., a
The fleet had grown to 16 McDonnell Douglas DC-8's and two
Lockheed L-1011's; the carrier had also begun leasing a pair of
McDonnell Douglas DC-10's. The new Arrow was losing $3 million a month,
reported Traffic World in early 2002, yet the company aimed to break
even by year-end.
The withdrawal of Grupo TACA's freighters from the market
provided Arrow with an opportunity to expand services in
Its routes complemented those of Arrow Air, which acquired AGI in March 2002. Operationally, Arrow Air planned to retire its Lockheed L-1011 by 2003 and replace its dozen McDonnell Douglas DC-8's with McDonnell Douglas DC-10's a few years after. In January 2004 Arrow Air filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but exited in June 2004 after a bankruptcy court approved its restructuring.
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