World Airways Unveils Vintage Livery for Commemorative Flight to Vietnam

Next Step in “Operation Babylift – Homeward Bound”

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga., June 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — World Airways has unveiled a specially painted MD-11 wide-body jet that will fly a group of former Vietnamese orphans back to their homeland to commemorate the company’s dramatic “Operation Babylift” flight 30 years ago. The modern plane has been painted to resemble the livery of the World Airways DC-8 cargo plane that launched Operation Babylift by flying 57 Vietnamese orphans to the United States at the end of the war in Vietnam.

The 1975 World Airways flight, which took off against the wishes of government authorities, triggered a national effort during the entire month of April 1975 that ultimately brought more than 3,000 orphans to families in the United States. The commemorative trip has been named “Operation Babylift – Homeward Bound,” in honor of the airline’s heroic efforts of 1975.

“Painting the plane is an important and visible way to commemorate the original Operation Babylift flight and acknowledge the legacy of World Airways,” said Randy Martinez, chief executive officer of World Air Holdings. “It will be a magnificent sight when the plane lands in Ho Chi Minh City, and we are proud to sponsor this historic event. For many of the 20 former orphans, this will be their first return to Vietnam.”

The flight will depart from Atlanta on June 12, 2005, for a two-day visit in Ho Chi Minh City, culminating with a special dinner at the Unification Palace. The guests will tour the city, cruise on the Saigon River and visit an orphanage to present gifts.

Some of World’s former pilots, flight attendants and ground staff involved in the original flight with then-president Ed Daly in 1975 also will be guests on the commemorative trip.

World Airways, a wholly owned subsidiary of World Air Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ:WLDA) , is a U.S.-certificated air carrier providing customized transportation services for major international cargo and passenger carriers, the United States military, and international leisure tour operators. Founded in 1948, World operates a fleet of 17 wide-body aircraft to meet the specialized needs of its customers. For information, visit www.worldairways.com .

Related Articles