WORLD Ends at 66

It all started back in 1948 with World Airways flying passengers between New York and San Juan. Last Friday, CEO John Graber announced the final shutdown of the carrier.
This announcement brings to an end 66 years of “World History“ and dashes any hopes the carrier, its management and staff may have had after it entered into Chapter 7 during November of last year.

Another carrier disappeared from the map - World ceased ops on March 26th  /  source: World Airways
Another carrier disappeared from the map - World ceased ops on March 26th / source: World Airways

World now follows on the heels of Evergreen International Airlines and has ceased operations immediately and remaining operating businesses including North American Airlines will also see significant reductions.

Graber, in an email sent to his staff on 27. March, stated: “the decisions were made by the Company Board of Directors based upon the events of this week.”


World has been fighting since its forced Chapter 7 filing to keep its head above water and find further funding to ensure continued operations. Mr Graber also stated that the carrier was unable to secure further funding from Cerberus, World’s first lien tender. “Without that funding (World) no longer had the money needed to operate. As we’ve told everyone for some months now, there are no other lenders or potential partners in the marketplace who will back World,” Graber added.
World operated its last flight on March 26th.

Global Aviation Holding, World’s mother company, is hoping to be able to secure the future of North American, another daughter company. Here, hopes are seen to be very slim and it is expected that the carrier will suffer the same fate as its larger brother, World.

With the demise of World and the uncertain fate of North American only Atlas Air remains as the dominant U.S.-based cargo carrier in the market. Their future remains uncertain due to the worldwide downturn in freighter capacity demand as well as the U.S. military’s drastic thinning of operations in the Middle East.
Both World and Atlas had the lion’s share of this business in the past.

Again, we see the end of an era in aviation. World was a household name in U.S. aviation circles. It had a colorful and exciting history with operations throughout the Vietnam war, passenger and cargo flying for the military, a turbulent, but short lived scheduled passenger service from the U.S. to Africa and Europe during the late 90’s as well as wet lease operations for international carriers.

John Mc Donagh