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Air Florida, grounded by debts, files for bankruptcy

Air Florida, forced by massive debts to ground its planes abruptly and lay off its 1,200 employees, is working on a ''definitive plan'' that may have it flying again soon, a spokeswoman said.

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The Miami-based airline halted operations and filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Act on Tuesday, forcing surprised passengers to scramble to make other travel arrangements.

Air Florida, once among the nation's fastest growing airlines, has lost $134. 8 million in the past three years.