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Hoffa Urges Help for Sun Country Airlines, Teamsters Flight Attendants

Hoffa Urges Help for Sun Country Airlines, Teamsters Flight Attendants

Airline Has Suspended Operations, Seeks New Investors

December 19, 2001

Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa has written a letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta asking that the federal agency provide money owed to Sun Country Airlines to help the airline resume operations.

Sun Country, which employs about 300 Teamsters members who are flight attendants, suspended operations earlier this month and laid off most of its employees. Sun Country is entitled to the money under the Air Transportation Safety and Stabilization Act, passed to help airlines that were impacted by the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“It is my understanding that Sun Country was to receive $8.2 million to compensate for losses sustained as a result of the terrorist acts,” Hoffa wrote. “However, the airline is stilled owed some $5.4 million of that amount and needs this money immediately to continue limited flying, including operating charter flights for tour operators, leisure travelers, sports teams, and military operations.”

Sun Country is seeking investors for a recapitalization.

“Only by sustaining this scaled back operation, does Sun Country hope to secure additional investors, rebuild the airline, return to scheduled flights, and bring back its employees,” Hoffa wrote.

In the wake of Hoffa’s letter, dated December 12, the Department of Transportation gave Sun Country and additional $784,000, but the Teamsters want to see Sun Country receive the full $8.2 million.

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