Less than nine months into a pro-rate code-share contract with Frontier Airlines that called for the introduction of seven Bombardier CRJs into the Frontier system by year-end, Mesa Air Group has begun to curtail its relationship with the Denver-based low-fare carrier as a lingering environment of razor-thin yields has resulted in “less than satisfactory” returns for Mesa, according to a company official.
Sagging operational and financial fortunes at Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation have prompted Tennenbaum & Co. to withdraw its offer to buy the former United Express affiliate’s outstanding shares of common stock for $4 a share. In a letter to Great Lakes’ board, Tennenbaum suggested a merger of the Frontier Airlines code-share partner with another turboprop operation to increase its attractiveness to potential investors.
Airbus has hired executive charter specialist PrivatAir to operate a corporate shuttle service linking its facilities in the UK, France and Germany. Starting in April, a pair of 126-seat Airbus A319s will provide the daily midweek service between the Airbus factories at Broughton and Filton in the UK with those at Toulouse in southwestern France and Hamburg in northern Germany.
“If you can’t beat them, join them” might well have been the theme for a debate on the challenge posed by the so-called no-frills carriers during last month’s general assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) in Salzburg, Austria.
Orlando, Fla.-based low-fare carrier AirTran Airways took a page from the book of North America’s full-service airlines last month when it enlisted Air Wisconsin to replace some of its Boeing 717 capacity from Atlanta with 50-seat Bombardier CRJs.
Indigo, which originally launched a “regular and frequent” business aircraft service with a Falcon 20 in February 2000, was scheduled to receive its first “upscale shuttle” version of the Embraer ERJ-135 late last month.
CAE last month inaugurated its aviation training center near Denver International Airport. The new facility, which specializes in the training of regional airline crews, is starting with three simulators: an Airbus A320 and two Bombardier CRJ200/700 devices. Frontier Airlines and Air Wisconsin are the launch customers. A third Bombardier CRJ200/700 simulator will be added next year.
Aviation Development Holdings (ADH) of Phoenix intends to launch a “clean-sheet, breakthrough regional airline jet service, independent and decoupled from the major airlines.” The idea, according to ADH chairman and CEO Matt Andersson, is to “design an airline of the future for business travelers.” Initial service, to begin next spring, will tie together the cities of Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Salt Lake City.
The FAA has been under intense pressure from the U.S. Congress of late, and some believe that the reaction to Congressional pressure to tighten up FAA oversight of the aviation industry is a direct cause of the thousands of airline groundings last month.
A group of former JetBlue executives has launched a new charter operation designed around the Phenom 100. The company, JetSuite, has placed an order for 100 aircraft–50 firm and 50 options–and plans to lease the aircraft to customers. First deliveries are expected next April. The company has also applied for a Part 135 certificate and plans to launch charter services from bases in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, pending final government approval.