Air cargo firm announces layoffs

Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Alaska Central Express Inc. has issued more than 40 layoff notices to workers after the Postal Service told the airline this week it no longer will be allowed to carry bypass mail.

The company has been in a long dispute over whether it can carry some mail on its cargo planes.

Scott Pancoast, airline president, said the company has asked a federal judge to reinstate its ability to carry the bulk mail in Alaska.

If Alaska Central prevails, the laid-off workers will be reinstated, Pancoast said. If it loses, about 20 more workers could be terminated as the airline downsizes.

Alaska Central filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January after the Postal Service cut off its bypass mail rights on mainline routes because its planes are too small.

A bankruptcy judge soon reinstated the rights. Bypass mail typically involves bulky packages that bypass post offices when mailed and it is a common way to mail goods to the Bush.

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