The consolidation of the regional airline industry continued unabated last month, as St. George, Utah-based SkyWest revealed plans to acquire Houston-based ExpressJet. The $133 million transaction will involve a direct purchase by SkyWest's Atlanta-based subsidiary, Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA), of all of ExpressJet's common shares for $6.75 each in cash.
Delta Air Lines has directed regional subsidiary Comair to shed more than half of its Bombardier CRJs over the next two years, according to an internal memo sent today to employees from Comair president John Bendoraitis. The Cincinnati-based regional airline plans to cut 49 fifty-seat CRJs from next year through 2012, leaving it with 16 fifty-seat CRJ200s, 15 seventy-seat CRJ700s, and 13 seventy-six-seat CRJ900s.
Delta Air Lines announced last month that it has entered into definitive agreements to sell two of its wholly owned regional airline subsidiaries–Minneapolis-based Mesaba and Compass Airlines. Delta has sold Mesaba to Memphis, Tenn.-based Pinnacle Airlines for $62 million, and Compass to St. Louis-based Trans States Holdings for $20.5 million. Delta said it would use the proceeds from the transactions for general corporate purposes.
Delta Air Lines announced today that it has entered into definitive agreements to sell two of its wholly owned regional airline subsidiaries-Minneapolis-based Mesaba and Compass Airlines. Delta said it has sold Mesaba to Memphis, Tenn.-based Pinnacle Airlines for $62.0 million, and Compass to St. Louis-based Trans States Holdings for $20.5 million. Delta said it would use the proceeds from these transactions for general corporate purposes.
American Eagle Airlines plans to place nine first-class seats on each of its 25 Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets and ready them for use by July 2, the company announced last month. As part of the service, Eagle will offer complimentary first-class dining service.
ALPA-represented pilot groups from Atlantic Southeast, Comair, Compass, Mesaba and Pinnacle Airlines last month established the Delta Connection Pilots Alliance (DCPA). The group lists as its primary goals improvement of safety, training, work environment and the customer experience. It claims to seek to remove competitive pressures and establish a collaborative working philosophy that cultivates industry best practices at each airline.
Mesa Air Group rang in the new year with a resolution of sorts, as it started the process of restructuring its operations by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on January 5. The move came some six weeks after United Airlines filed a court complaint to block Mesa’s efforts to replace some of the 50-seat CRJ200s scheduled for removal from the United Express system on April 30 with ten 70-seat CRJ700s.
SkyWest Airlines’ decision to lend United Airlines $80 million in no way signals any particular interest on the part of the St. George, Utah-based regional to help finance the operations of its code-share partners, a point SkyWest executive vice president and CFO Brad Rich clearly wanted to emphasize during the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call last month.
Delta Air Lines’ plans to cut another 10 percent of its system capacity this fall will result in the loss of 100 pilot jobs at Comair, 110 at Mesaba Airlines and 56 at Atlantic Southeast. ASA’s cuts take effect September 1, while a planned 20-percent drop in block hours by the end of September at Comair will require a broad review of all staffing levels “in the coming weeks.”
A U.S. Court of Appeals last month affirmed the preliminary injunction that barred Delta Air Lines from ending Mesa Air Group’s Delta Connection agreement covering 22 Embraer ERJ 145s. A U.S. District Court issued the injunction in May of last year after Delta alleged that Mesa subsidiary Freedom Airlines failed to meet completion rate guarantees.