Texas charter airline shuts downUltrAir, which has been a...

BUSINESS DIGEST

July 09, 1994

Texas charter airline shuts down

UltrAir, which has been a luxury airline, a charter airline and a no-frills airline in its brief lifetime, will be a grounded airline Wednesday.

Formed in Houston in January 1993 from the remnants of a charter carrier, UltrAir began as an upscale airline catering to frequent business travelers. It suspended scheduled operations in July 1993 and flew only charters until November, when it re-emerged as a no-frills airline.

UltrAir said competition from the major carriers along the East Coast "has made it economically unviable" to continue serving four Florida cities from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport and that its other flights, to Mobile and Birmingham, Ala., never "matured."

Mellon in deal with U.S. Bancorp

Pittsburgh-based Mellon Bank Corp. said yesterday that it agreed to buy U.S. Bancorp's residential mortgage business with a portfolio valued at $3.6 billion for $75 million.

U.S. Bancorp, based in Portland, Ore., said the sale of the mortgages and related assets will result in a pretax gain of about $50 million in the third quarter of 1994. Mellon will purchase more than 50 wholesale and retail loan origination offices as well as $3.6 billion of U.S. Bancorp Mortgage Co.'s $4.3 billion residential loan servicing portfolio.

Fox to begin movie channel

The new cable television service launched by Fox Inc. last month, called fX, said yesterday that it will create a movie channel featuring films from the 20th Century Fox Studios library. Fox is the entertainment subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Ltd. and includes both 20th Century Fox Studios and Fox Television.

The Fox Movie Studio channel will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of the movie studio.

DEC plants in Southwest to close

Digital Equipment Corp. plans to shut down manufacturing plants in Mexico and New Mexico over the next six months, the company said yesterday. The announcement caps a week of speculation about Digital possibly selling off parts of its business in order to return to profitability by year's end.

Digital will shut down the plants in Chihuahua, Mexico, and Albuquerque, N.M., by January and shift their work to other North American facilities, Vice President Dan Jennings said.

German privatization approved

A plan to break up the German government's postal and telephone system and convert the new operations to private ownership won final approval yesterday from the upper house of Parliament.

The Federation of German Industry praised the Bundesrat's action. But critics said the privatization did not go far enough and would leave Germany with a telephone monopoly.

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