Direct Air Owes NFTA $80,000

March 15, 2012 Updated Mar 15, 2012 at 8:00 AM EDT

By WKBW News

March 15, 2012 Updated Mar 15, 2012 at 8:00 AM EDT

Passengers aren't the only ones hoping to get money from Direct Air. The airline abruptly stopped service Monday, citing an unpaid fuel bill and other reasons. It left passengers stranded at the Niagara Falls airport. Now Business First says Direct Air also owes the NFTA $80,000 in unpaid landing fees and other charges. The NFTA operates the Niagara Falls International Airport. Direct Air was the busiest air carrier there, handling about 8,300 passengers from the Falls in the month of January, up 163 percent from last year.

The National Retail Federation estimates that 54% of Americans will celebrate St. Patrick's Day this weekend. Average spending is expected to hit about $35 per person, for a total of $4.5 billion. Researchers say retailers and restaurants, like many in Irish areas like South Buffalo, are counting on that boost in spending. St. Patrick's Day kicks off spring sales for retailers, with consumers looking for home accents, patio furniture and more.

This is how people are celebrating this year. 82% will wear green clothing. 32% will make a special dinner. 28% will go to a bar or restaurant. 23% decorate their homes or offices and 19% will attend private parties, since the holiday falls on a Saturday this year.

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