National Slavery Museum goes bankrupt without ever opening

The National Slavery Museum in Fredericksburg, Virginia, has filed for bankruptcy.

This will make little difference to potential visitors, however, since the museum doesn’t actually exist.

Former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder, shown here in this U.S. Government photo, founded a nonprofit organization in 2001 to create the museum. It was supposed to open in 2004 but never did. A small memorial sculpture garden was opened in 2007.

Since 2008, the organization has owed taxes on the property, which have now risen to $215,000. The city has stepped in and is now trying to sell the land. The museum’s filing for bankruptcy is aimed at stopping this from happening. Its bankruptcy paperwork says the organization has more than $3 million in debts.

The museum is also embroiled in a legal battle with Therbia and Marva Parker, who donated almost 100 historic artifacts with the understanding that they’d be put on display. Since it’s obvious that’s not going to happen, they want their artifacts back.

Tour operator Goldtrail goes bankrupt, strands 16,000

UK company Goldtrail Travel Ltd announced it had gone bankrupt at 4pm yesterday. The revelation, made just an hour before the end of the work week, has left the travel plans of thousands of customers in doubt. About 16,000 customers are already abroad on Goldtrail flights and package tours, mostly in Turkey and Greece.

Goldtrail operates under the names Goldtrail Holidays, Goldtrail Travel, and Sunmar.

While flights returning this weekend and Monday will operate as normal, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority is left to pick up the slack for the remaining passengers. All outbound Goldtrail flights have been canceled. You can read the CAA’s statement about the failure, and advice to those affected, here.

The number for the CAA helpline in the UK is 0844 856 2585. Customers outside the UK should call 0044 203 441 0846.

Thousands stranded after Flyglobespan goes out of business

Flyglobespan, Scotland’s biggest airline, has become the latest airline to go bust. The airline made the announcement yesterday, canceling all of its flights and firing all 800 of its employees.

The workers got a bad deal getting fired just before Christmas, but at least they get to suffer at home, unlike the more than 4,500 passengers left stranded in foreign countries.

The company claims it’s contacting everyone affected, but the BBC didn’t have trouble finding passengers and even employees who hadn’t heard anything official about the closure. One senior cabin crew member learned he lost his job through Facebook.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority is working to repatriate 1,100 travelers who were stranded as part of a flyglobespan package holiday, but another 3,400 passengers who booked directly through have to make their own way back. easyJet and Ryanair have offered cut-rate “rescue fares” and passengers should check their travel insurance to see if their repatriation is covered.

There’s also a helpline at 0871 271 9000.

Last year an Irish bookie gave Flyglobespan 5:1 odds at being the next airline to go under. Skyeurope, also at 5:1 odds, beat it out when it failed on August 31 of this year.


Could Southwest Airlines buy Frontier?

Southwest Airlines (WN) announced that it was putting a bid in for Frontier Airlines (F9) last week, a move that could significantly increase the airline’s market share in the west of the Mississippi. Frontier, the struggling Denver-based low-cost carrier that filed for bankruptcy last year, will be taking bids for the remainder of its company until Monday.

With the $114 million bid filed, Frontier will start sorting through contenders this week.

So what if it works out? Frontier would become part of Southwest airlines, Denver would lose one more competitor and hopefull the airlines and employees would merge from the bankrupt carrier to the most profitable carrier in the country.

Routes that Southwest takes over would suddenly be governed by the low-cost-carrier’s agressive pricing schema, meaning that cities currently covered by Frontier may see some more competitive prices to Southwest destinations. As for Denver, however, without WN competing with F9, prices could go up. At least they’ll still have plenty of non-stop routes available.

We should know more about whether Frontier accepts Southwest’s bid in the next few weeks.

Check out the well-made video from Denver NBC station 9NEWS after the jump.

JetAmerica goes bust

That was quick. In less than two months after opening shop for business, Jet Airways JetAmerica has decided it can’t take people from Toledo to points beyond after all. The end of May the airlines had started selling tickets to places like Melbourne, Florida, Lansing, Michigan and South Bend, Indiana with plans to expand to Newark, New Jersey and more. The airlines was to start flying this month.

Unfortunately, the okay for the route to Newark was taking longer than the airlines could withstand, so people are getting refunds. That’s according to what I’ve gathered from this article summarizing the situation in NYC Aviation.

The CEO said that the airlines hasn’t totally bitten the dust and is looking into other possible markets. Regardless, those people counting on Jet Airways JetAmerica cheap seats out of Toledo to Florida this winter are out of luck. If you’ve been to Toledo in the winter, you can see why this is a real shame.

At least the airlines didn’t pull a Skybus stunt by taking them to their destination and leaving them there or ruining honeymoon plans.