Republic Airways to Lay off 161 at Port Columbus


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Republic Airways plans to lay off 161 workers at its Port Columbus facility and close its heavy maintenance operation there as it continues to reorganize after its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing this year.

Republic operates commuter-jet flights on behalf of the major airlines. In a letter to the Ohio Office of Workforce Development, the airline said the layoffs will begin about June 20 but all affected employees will receive full pay and benefits through Aug. 2.

The workers, mostly mechanics, have been offered the chance to transfer to Republic operations elsewhere, according to the letter.

A Republic spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday afternoon.

The Indianapolis-based company still will have hundreds of employees in Columbus. At the time of its bankruptcy filing in late February, a spokesman said Republic employed close to 1,000 people in Columbus. Its maintenance operations are based in a hangar on Fifth Avenue.

Last week, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported that Republic was seeking to terminate leases on 29 of its airplanes and two properties, at the airports in Milwaukee and Denver.

The company is expected to continue operations and to continue hiring in other areas.

Martin A. Rottler, a lecturer in Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Studies, said he expects Republic will continue to employ many workers in Columbus and meet the highest standards of safety while it reorganizes to align itself with current industry needs and conditions.

He pointed out that virtually all major U.S. airlines have filed for bankruptcy at least once.