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Direct Air parent files for bankruptcy protection

By Samantha Bomkamp

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 16 2012 12:30 p.m. MDT

NEW YORK — Just three days after abruptly stopping service and leaving travelers stranded, the parent of discount airline Direct Air is filing for bankruptcy protection.

Southern Sky Air & Tours LLC on Thursday filed for Chapter 11 protection in Massachusetts. Court documents show the company has between $10 million and $50 million in debt and just $500,000 to $1 million in assets.

The airline abruptly stopped flying Monday afternoon — at the peak of the spring break travel season — apparently because it couldn't pay its fuel bills. Direct Air, based in Myrtle Beach, S.C., says it will not fly again until May 15. Ticket holders were told to contact their credit card companies for refunds.

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