My 2 cents...
5 reasons for the pain with the charter guys:
1) Obvious pull down in Iraq and Afghanistan
2) DOD previously had a 60/40 rule. 40 percent of flying had to be non DOD. They waived this during the post 9/11 build up. All DOD carriers got greedy and ignored commercial opportunities.
3) DOD slashed the rates last year. DOD carriers get paid less for doing the same thing.
4) DOD introduced new reliability rules last year. It used to be 85% three month reliability based on departure within 15 minutes. Now itís 95% based on arrival within 2 hours. Failure to maintain 95% has resulted in financial penalty and loss of flying for the some DOD carriers. Also, less flying makes each delay carry more weight.
5) DOD team reorganization. There used to be 3 DOD teams. This year Omni left the FedEx team to start their own team. Entitlement is now split between 4 versus 3 teams. In addition Delta has decided to pick up more DOD flying and Atlas has gotten into the pax business.
I don't have a dog in this fight. I am ex ATA and got out of the business.
Good luck to all.