World Airways announced yesterday that it will consolidate its operations and those of Key Airlines in a new corporate headquarters near Washington Dulles International Airport.
The carrier -- now a charter and cargo operation -- is moving from Oakland, and will become a subsidiary of WorldCorp, a holding company that will also own and manage Key Airlines, said T. Coleman Andrews III, chief executive officer of World Airways.
The relocation is part of a major restructuring of the airline that began in September when it withdrew from scheduled service because of continuing losses. That restructuring has included reducing the company's long-term debt from $200 million to $40 million, Andrews said.
He said that the company is moving to be nearer its customer base. "Of our 17 major customers, 90 percent are in the Washington area or within a one-hour flight from Washington," he said.
World Airways began as a charter airline in the 1950s and later moved into scheduled passenger service, becoming a pioneer in discount fares. But it came up a loser in the fare wars it helped precipitate and later unsuccessfully sought limits on fare reductions.
In April, World Airways announced it had signed an agreement to purchase the stock of Key Airlines for $18 million from Presidential Airways. Key, which has operations at Dulles and in Las Vegas, operates charters.
The two WorldCorp units have approximately 600 employes, including some 225 Key employes at Dulles. Approximately 100 workers will lose their jobs as a result of the move, Andrews said. The positions will be filled by workers from the Washington area, he said. The other 275 employes will be transferred here from Oakland and Las Vegas.