Surprise! General Motors has announced that it's ceasing its dedicated Corporate Aviation Operations. This means that all of its jets, leased or owned, will be sold or transferred to another operator. Additionally, the automaker had been leasing a facility and space from Detroit Metro Airport for the use of its private jets, and The General will now need to work with airport officials to find a new tenant. The entire General Motors Air Transportation Services group will see its doors officially closed on January 1, 2009.

This announcement seems right on schedule considering how much brow-beating GM and its cross-town rivals took at the hands of Congress over its use of private jets for corporate travel. Of course, even without its own dedicated Aviation Operations, GM and the other Detroit automakers could easily charter private flights when it's deemed necessary, which we would bet will be much less often in the future than it has in the past. Read the short and sweet press release after the break.

[Source: GM]

PRESS RELEASE:

GM Ceasing Corporate Aviation Operations

DETROIT -- GM today announced that it is ceasing operations at General Motors Air Transportation Services (GMATS) at Detroit Metro Airport.

Due to significant cutbacks over the past months, GM travel volume no longer justifies a dedicated corporate aircraft operation.

GM is currently exploring options for transferring its aircraft to another operator. The company is pursuing sale of four of the aircraft so it can terminate the leases.

GM will shutter the facility at Metro Airport effective January 1, 2009. GM will work with the airport to seek a tenant for the balance of the lease, which expires in 2009.

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About GM - General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 252,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 34 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

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