Tourism & Cruises

CEO: Florida-based Silver Airways ‘in dire need’ of federal aid to survive

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Hollywood, Fla.,-based Silver Airways, a regional airline serving Florida and the Caribbean, has requested immediate federal financial assistance “in order for the airline to survive the most dire crisis the industry has ever faced.”

In a letter submitted to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Broward Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, D-Fla., Silver CEO Steve Rossum wrote “direct assistance is both respectfully requested and required” in order to survive the financial downturn resulting from efforts to staunch the spread of the new coronavirus.

“Our passenger bookings have dropped dramatically over the past month and we are experiencing an even greater and unprecedented decline in forward bookings each day and ever-increasing cancellations as citizens and visitors are encouraged not to travel.”

According to the letter, privately held Silver Airways had expected to carry more than 1 million passengers this year. The airline flies from Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, serving business and leisure flyers; the company also provides military support. It has about 1,000 employees.

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The company is owned by Versa Capital Management, LLC, a Philadelphia-based private equity investment firm.

Jane Wooldridge, an award-winning journalist and Miami Herald veteran, oversees coverage of real estate, economy, urban development, tourism, cruises, visual arts and Art Basel. She is president of the Society of American Travel Writers. Find her on Instagram @JaneWooldridge.
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