Arrow''s ''For Sale'' Sign

Arrow''s ''For Sale'' Sign

Copyright 2004, Traffic World, Inc.

Arrow Air filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the long-troubled cargo carrier said it was in talks with prospective buyers. The Miami-based airline pledged to keep up its service and retain its 750 employees as it restructures.

"Arrow Air intends to retain our position as a significant air cargo carrier operating out of Miami International Airport; in fact, the investors currently working to acquire the company insist upon our continued operations," Arrow President and CEO Frank J. Visconti said in a statement.

The largest surviving carrier in a once-thriving Miami all-cargo scene filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 28 less than two years after it emerged from earlier bankruptcy protection.

The Miami Herald reported that potential buyers include H.I.G. Capital, which owns Arrow''s Fort Lauderdale-based competitor Amerijet International, or an unnamed New England-based private investment group.

Arrow''s general counsel did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Arrow''s parent company is the former Fine Air Services, another airline with a rocky history. Fine bought Arrow in 1999, hoping the combination would shore up both financially weak cargo carriers.

Instead of financial stability, the combined company landed in bankruptcy court in 2000. Now, Arrow finds itself in familiar territory.

Visconti said it a statement that Arrow was "confident that with the help of the court, we will be able to fashion a solution to the benefit of all parties including our employees, our customers, our vendors, our community, our lending institutions and potential investors."

Arrow merged a year ago with Air Global International, another Miami-based all-cargo carrier. The merger gave the airline a stronger presence in southern South America. Arrow also concentrates on Central America and the Caribbean.

The airline has a fleet of 13 freighters, mostly DC-8s. Arrow has reduced both the size of its fleet and the number of markets it serves in the past year.