Kansas City, MO—Vanguard Airlines, Inc. (NasdaqSC: VNGD) today confirmed it had received $4.5 million as the first installment of federal aid under the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act. Vanguard officials praised Congress and the White House for their rapid response to the difficulties facing the airline industry.
“We want to commend the bipartisan leadership on their prompt actions in restoring confidence in our nation’s airlines,” said Scott Dickson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vanguard Airlines. “We also applaud the Department of Transportation in its efficient administration of the program.”
The Act provides up to $4.5 billion of grant relief to passenger airlines to cover losses through December 31, 2001, directly resulting from the terrorist attacks. The Act also authorizes airlines to obtain federal credit assistance, up to $10 billion in aggregate. Unlike the grant portion of the Act, Congress set no fixed guidelines on the amount of credit assistance for which each airline may be eligible. Vanguard called on the federal government to act for the benefit of all Americans in determining the airlines’ eligibility for the credit assistance.
“At Vanguard, we believe that the credit assistance should be disbursed in a manner that helps all Americans, by promoting continued competition in the industry,” said Dickson. “We urge all Americans to contact Congress, the White House and the Federal Reserve System and insist that the federal credit package be used in a fair manner to assist all airlines and assure continued competition and affordable fares.”
Vanguard, which has received only a tiny fraction of the total federal assistance, estimates that it saves Americans more than $150 million per year by bringing low fare competition to its route system.
Vanguard Airlines, Kansas City’s Hometown Airline, provides convenient all-jet service to 14 cities nationwide: Atlanta, Austin, Buffalo/Niagara Falls, Chicago-Midway, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Fort Lauderdale (beginning Dec. 10), Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York-LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The airline offers low fares with no advance-purchase requirements, advanced seat assignment and extra legroom on all flights with a fleet of nine Boeing 737s and five Boeing MD-80-series aircraft, which feature SkyBoxä Business Class service. For more information or to make reservations online, visit Vanguard’s Web site at www.flyvanguard.com.