ATA Holdings Corp. Announces Reorganization; Names New CEO

ATA Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq:ATAH), parent company of ATA (American Trans Air, Inc.), today announced it is undergoing an organizational change to better meet the company`s overall business objective. The change will reorganize the current business units from four units into five separate operating divisions: ATA Scheduled Service, ATA Charter, Chicago Express Airlines, Inc. (doing business as ATA Connection), ATA Training Corporation and Ambassadair Travel Club.

“The airline industry has never been under greater pressure, making it increasingly necessary to examine and analyze our business plan and our overall organizational plan,” said George Mikelsons, ATA Holdings Corp. Chairman and founder. “We will continue to aggressively pursue opportunities leading to greater profitability, despite the significant pressure on scheduled service unit revenues that we currently face.

“It is imperative, however, that we continue to re-evaluate the needs of the company, while carefully streamlining and monitoring all expenses to keep them in line with current expectations,” he added.

Three of the business units, Chicago Express Airlines, Inc., Ambassadair Travel Club and ATA Training Corporation, presently operate as separate business units. Their organizational configuration and leadership will remain largely unaffected. Changes will be made in the Scheduled Service and Charter units.

“It has long been recognized that the efficiencies desired in scheduled service are difficult to achieve with a large component of charter and military charter in its mix,” said Mikelsons. “ATA Holdings Corp. feels these changes are necessary to facilitate and drive greater efficiencies in the business models of both scheduled service and charter.”


ATA is the largest charter carrier in North America and the largest charter carrier of U.S. military personnel. In 2002, charter and military charter revenues are expected to be approximately $300 million. Mikelsons reiterated ATA`s commitment to expanding this segment of its business operations. With the change, ATA Charter will be redefined as a separate and distinct operating unit of ATA Holdings Corp. The company expects to announce more details about the reorganization and the heads of the operating divisions in the near future.

“The path to profitability is to incorporate a separate path for both of these business units,” Mikelsons added. “ATA scheduled service has grown significantly from its charter heritage. This phenomenal growth has made it necessary to separate our scheduled and charter services.”

As a result of this reorganization, Mikelsons will resume the role of president and chief executive officer. John P. Tague has resigned to pursue other opportunities. This change will take effect today.

“I thank John Tague for his major contributions to ATA, which included establishing the ATA brand and modernizing the airline, enabling it to contend in an increasingly competitive environment,” said Mikelsons. “John`s dedication, commitment and winning spirit will be greatly missed. We wish him well.”