An administrative law judge recommended Wednesday that the government deny a bid by Frank Lorenzo, deposed head of Eastern and Continental airlines, to operate a new discount-fare air carrier.
Judge Richard L. Barton Jr. of the U.S. Department of Transportation said the proposed airline, ATX Inc., has repeatedly defied the judge’s orders and has filed “frivolous and vexatious” motions in its license application.
“If, as I have found, ATX cannot be trusted to comply with the department and the judge’s orders during the course of this proceeding, it certainly cannot be trusted to comply with federal laws regulating the transportation of passengers and cargo,” Barton said.
The judge’s recommendation now goes to the Transportation Department, which will decide whether to reject Lorenzo’s application. The judge’s findings are likely to carry great weight with department officials.
But Richard Danforth, a spokesman for Lorenzo, said: “The recommendation is fundamentally and thoroughly wrong. We’re absolutely confident the Department of Transportation will refuse to follow the recommendation.”
Barton said ATX had demonstrated adequate financial fitness and managerial competence, but the carrier “has not shown proper compliance disposition,” a phrase he used to describe the airline’s refusal to abide by his orders.