Big Sky To Close, MAIR To Liquidate

 - December 20, 2007, 7:54 AM

MAIR Holdings announced yesterday that its Big Sky Airlines subsidiary will end all its Delta Connection service on the East Coast as of midnight on January 7. The company will then attempt to “transition” its Billings, Mont.-based operation to another airline, distribute any remaining cash to shareholders and completely liquidate sometime next year, said MAIR president Paul Foley during a conference call this morning. Delta has recruited wholly owned subsidiary Comair to assume responsibility for part of the 16-city Eastern network.

Meanwhile, MAIR has entered negotiations with another carrier, reportedly Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation, to assume control of Big Sky’s Billings-based EAS markets. Foley attributed the decision to shut down to unusually bad weather, high fuel costs and “disappointing” revenue from the Boston-based operation, established in April in an effort to counter losses generated by its Western network.