Saturday, November 03, 2007

ATA Flies To Georgia: Another Corporate Headquarters Lost

The exodus of corporate headquarters from Indianapolis during the tenure of Mayor Bart Peterson (D) continues unabated. The IBJ reports on ATA Airlines decision to relocate its headquarters to Georgia. Chris O'Malley reports on the loss of the business which once employed 2,300 people locally:

The writing has been on the wall that Indianapolis might lose the headquarters for ATA Airlines and/or parent Global Aero Logistics ever since April, when Global said it was buying Georgia-based World Air Holdings.

Now, the writing is on paper: Indianapolis has lost another headquarters. “Our principal executive office is located at HLH Building, 101 World Drive, Peachtree City, Georgia,” states a registration Global Aero filed Oct. 26 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Previous SEC filings identified Indianapolis as the headquarters. The filing outlines a plan to sell $50 million in stock on behalf of Global Aero’s owner, the New York investment firm MatlinPatterson.

As recently as Oct. 15, Indianapolis was the dateline on Global Aero’s press releases . . .

ATA hasn’t flown a scheduled flight from Indianapolis International Airport—where it once was the busiest carrier—for nearly two years. Chicago’s Midway Airport remains ATA’s closest scheduled service location.

“They’re winding down operations here. The impact has really already been felt,” said Mike Wells, a long-time board member of the Indianapolis Airport Authority. “In my mind, they were gone a long time ago.”

Well, Lacy Johnson will have his big palace of a new airport terminal built by the same people who largely funded Mayor Peterson's $3.5 million re-election bid this year, but there will be no airline which will call Indianapolis its home when it opens next year. BAA, the company that successfully operated the airport until Johnson started interfering with their business, has already announced it's giving up the contract and leaving town. This billion-dollar airport terminal could prove to be quite the white elephant before it's all over. But who cares, it's all funded by airline fees, not taxpayer dollars we're told. You don't pay those. Right?


Anonymous said...

Actually, there is another little "hometown airline" already here, but Bart isn't interested in them.

Anonymous said...

No, Bart wants world-class, and that doesn't unclude us low-life locals.

Anonymous said...

Maybe ATA wanted to move to Georgia so they could pay more of their share of taxes.

No, no...maybe they wanted to move to Georgia so their employees would have a better chance of being mugged, robbed, murdered, or carjacked.

No, no...maybe they wanted to move to Georgia because...

Get the hint, bart?

Anonymous said...

Lacy doesn't need airlines to put money in his pocket out there. Shipments are arriving daily from Chicago, Detroit and the Gary Hub.
You can fill in the rest of the story.
Hat's off to Minority Report for info.

Anonymous said...

You ain't seen nothin' yet. Wait until Eli Lilly gets caught in a leveraged buyout and is divied up into a zillion little pieces.
Their stock is like watching paint dry and their pipeline is clogged up with nothing that can get to FDA approval.
Oh, they don't seem to be as high on diversity as they advertise either.

Anonymous said...

The Lilly diatribe is hilarious, and completely inaccurate.

Do you know how many metropolitan airports don't have an airline HQ in their midst? Most of them.

ATA got behind the eight-ball when two things happened: Mr. Mikkelsens allowed some jerk to sell him on an expansion plan that took their eye off their ball and their core business, AND 9-11.

Really, need to get on decaf until Wednesday. Not everything that happens is because of or due to Bart Peterson.

I'm not sure yet if everything that happens is due to Lacy Johnson...the jury is still out on that. And as long as Ice Miller gets billable hours, hey, all is right with the world. Nothing changed there in 30 years.

Anonymous said...

ATA is gone and that is the result of poor management. You overlook the fact that there are now more flights daily than when ATA was here....the passenger count is higher than when ATA was here....Northwest Airlines alone has quadrupled the number of daily flights since ATA left....Cape Air is the latest airline to come to Indy.....

Anonymous said...

it is interesting how many people in this town loathe lilly. is there another major company headquartered in marion county? i can't think of one. seriously, i can't.

lilly truly seems to be a good citizen. also, in the current times it is good to think about all the money their employees put into the economy and THE INCOME TAX SYSTEM.

if you think about all the employees and the high wages, they are probably the biggest single private contributor to wages and, in turn, income tax. i think at one time it was gm but it would seem to have to be lilly now. they have a lot of employees, and contractors, and other non-employees support people that do nothing but work there (phone people, constructions).

they may be stagnant but they are still here.

every citizen of indianapolis should pray for the health and welfare of lilly. i cannot imagine what this city would be like if they were not here . . . or maybe when they aren't.