Judge rules Alaska Central Express can continue mail service

Posted: Thursday, February 21, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A bankruptcy judge has ruled that Alaska Central Express can continue to provide mail service while challenging the U.S. Postal Service in a legal dispute, the airline said Wednesday.

The carrier, which has hauled bypass mail in Alaska since 1988 and employs about 100 people, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month.

It has been engaged in a yearlong dispute with the Postal Service after it was notified that it would no longer be eligible to carry bypass mail between Anchorage and the state's larger communities.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Donald MacDonald issued an order Tuesday granting Alaska Central's motion to stay the Postal Service decision. The judge also asked that the case be heard on an expedited basis.

''This is a victory for small businesses and for the thousands of Alaskans who rely upon Alaska Central to deliver their mail and freight,'' said Mike Bergt, Alaska Central's general manager.

He said the ruling makes it possible for the company to continue to pursue its case against the Postal Service.

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