LINCOLN–(KFOR Dec. 14)–The audit on Colorado-based Fly Next, LLC, who operated as Red Way Airlines out of the Lincoln Airport, has been completed by the Nebraska State Auditor’s Office and shows the airline service had violated federal regulations and misused about $3.7-million in American Rescue Plan Act funds from the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County.
In the report released Thursday, Red Way’s marketing strategy, which appears to have been centered around an attempt to attract an abundance of passengers through low air fares, failed to produce the desired outcome. That resulted in a lack of sufficient operating revenue, plus questionable expenditures from the Federally mandated escrow account, which soon led to the airline shutting down after three months of operation.
On Tuesday, the Auditor’s Office received email confirmations from 24 Red Way customers had not yet received refunds.
Red Way offered flights to Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Nashville, and Orlando out of the Lincoln Airport. Service launched in June 2023 and ended abruptly on Aug. 31, 2023, with the airline citing costs and a lack of resources for the shut down.
The full 84-page report from the Auditor’s Office is linked below.