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Midway folds day after terrorist attacks

RALEIGH-DURHAM, North Carolina (CNN) -- Midway Airlines announced Wednesday that it is suspending all operations and laying off 1,700 employees immediately.

The move, coming just one day after the hijacking of four planes rocked Americans' faith in the safety of air travel, may be a first sign of the economic effects yet to come.

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"This action is being taken at this time in order to preserve the value available for Midway's interest holders and with the recognition that following the recent terrorist attacks, demand for air transportation is expected to decline sharply," the airline said in a written statement.

The company said ticket holders will be entitled to refunds. The airline, which leases aircraft, will also begin returning the planes to their owners and to seek buyers for its remaining assets.

Midway primarily serves 35 destinations in 19 states, mostly on the East Coast, from its hub at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

On the company's Web site, it claims it carries "more passengers and operates more flights than any other airline."


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