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Sun, Apr 10, 2005

Chicago Express Moving To Indy?

New Owner, New Home

The new owner of Chicago Express intends to move the bankrupt airline to Indianapolis and hopes to resume operations as early as May. The airline will join ATA and Republic Airways Holdings Corp to become the third airline based in Indianapolis if all goes as planned.

Okun Enterprises is preparing a business plan which will outline the potential routes and expected revenue. The plan must be approved by the US Department of Transportation before the airline can operate again according to Okun Attorney, Joseph Kavan, speaking to the Indianapolis Star.

"Whenever a change of control of any magnitude occurs, the transportation department wants to make sure the carrier is adequately" financed by new owners, said Robert Agnew, president of the Arlington, Va., consulting firm to the Star.

A US bankruptcy judge approved the sale of the airline to real estate investor Edward Okun on Monday. Okun has hired aviation consultants Morton, Beyer & Agnew to help reopen the airline. Proposed routes may be between Indianapolis and Evansville, South Bend and/or Fort Wayne.

ATA Holdings shut down Chicago Express on March 28th to cut costs. Okun bid between $3 to $4 million for the airline and has also agreed to purchase two of ATA's Saab 340 Turboprops for $2.44 million.

FMI: www.chicagoexpress.com

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