Mesa Airlines moved to position itself to add 30 new Embraer E175s over the next year into United Express service with some key management changes announced in late January.
As Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Silver Airways became the third U.S. regional airline this month to announce significant service cuts due to what it called a nationwide pilot shortage, the Regional Airline Association amplified its message of opposition to a new rule requiring 1,500 hours of flying experience for new-hire first officers.
Indianapolis-based Republic Airways subsidiary Republic Airlines launched its first Embraer E-Jet service as an American Eagle affiliate on August 1, flying 76-seat E175s from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Albuquerque International Sunport, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and Pittsburgh International Airport. Operating the E175s under a 12-year capacity purchase agreement with American Airlines, Republic expects delivery of two or three of the airplanes each month until Embraer fills its order for 47 by the first quarter of 2015.
Another sign of what Embraer CEO Frederico Curado has characterized as a resurgent regional jet market appeared last week, when United Airlines inked a firm order for 30 of the Brazilian manufacturer’s E175s. The deal, which includes options on another 40 of the 76-seat airplanes, marks the first move by United to exploit its newfound freedom to alter the composition of its regional jet network since its pilots agreed to relax the scope clause in their labor contract last December.
United Airlines has moved to exploit newfound freedom to alter the composition of its regional jet network with a tentative deal to add 30 new Embraer E175s to the United Express fleet.
The success enjoyed by outside players in providing capacity to Africa has meant regional and domestic business has assumed ever-increasing importance not just for Africa’s indigenous airlines but for the continent’s economic growth as well. The tremendous distances between population centers and the lack of convenient and reliable roads also make Africa a bumper opportunity for suppliers of regional jets with seating capacities of around 100.
A new pilot contract ratified by the pilots of United Airlines on December 15 will open more opportunities for “large” regional airplane flying by United Express affiliates but likely result in another large-scale grounding of 50-seat regional jets. It also appears to signal a desire for United to add 90- to 120-seat narrowbodies in the category of the Embraer E190/195 and Bombardier CSeries CS100 some time after January 2016.
Pinnacle Airlines subsidiary Colgan Air performed its last revenue flight on September 5. Flight 3923, a Bombardier Q400 operating as United Express, flew from Washington Dulles International Airport to Albany International, arriving at 8:11 a.m. local time.
Pinnacle entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection April 1 and on that same day announced its plan to “wind down” all its turboprop flying and close Colgan by November 30. United’s ability to reach a deal quickly with Republic Airways to fly the 28 Q400s leased by Colgan allowed Pinnacle to accelerate the closure process.
Pinnacle Airlines has resumed talks with its employee groups over contract concessions, following a recalculation of the cost savings it says it needs to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to Pinnacle, it now needs to shed $76 million to return to viability due in large part to Delta Air Lines’ plans to shed more than 200 fifty-seat regional jets from the Delta Connection system. It originally asked for $43 million in concessions.
Bankrupt Pinnacle Airlines suspended negotiations over pay concessions with its unions while it “reformulates” its business plan in an effort to issue a more competitive contract offer to mainline partner Delta Air Lines, according to a June 22 letter sent by CEO John Spanjers to all employees.
Made public in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the letter said that Delta told Pinnacle management that its competitors had submitted bids for Bombardier CRJ900 flying that undercut Pinnacle’s current rates by a “significant” margin.
- Page 1