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Direct Air Abruptly Suspends Flights, Stranding Spring Break Travelers


Charter airline Direct Air has abruptly canceled all its flights for at least two months, leaving passengers stranded amid the busy spring break travel season. The airline has suspended flight operations from March 13 to May 15.

The Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-based company, which began operations in 2007, serves 17 cities in the Midwest, East and South.

The flights are public charters operated by Xtra Airways, Sky King, World Atlantic Airlines, Swift Air and Vision Airlines.

On its website, Direct Air cited operational matters as the reason for the decision and said it is currently "evaluating strategic alternatives".

Xtra Airways and Sky King, two of the companies providing planes to Direct Air have said they will stop all flights for Direct Air over nonpayment.

Sky King indicated in a notice to the U.S. Department of Transportation that Direct Air's fuel supplies were cut off after its failure to pay for fuel.

Rumors have surfaced indicating that the airline would secure a new fuel source and begin flying again this week, but as of press time, no formal announcements have been made.

The news of the cancellations caused major hassles for passengers, leaving them to find other options to reach their destinations.

Passengers whose flights were canceled Monday were left stranded and without an official explanation at the Niagara Falls airport, according to the Buffalo News.

The cancellations have also impacted spring break travelers badly. Several of the cities served by Direct Air, including Myrtle Beach, and Fort Myers in Florida, are popular vacation destinations.

The airline has urged passengers holding reservations until May 15 to contact their credit companies for refunds. However, many of the passengers were unsure whether they would get a refund.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation is looking into the cancellations. Direct Air is now reportedly required to keep an escrow account in case of the need for reimbursements.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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