United Airlines has asked for requests for proposal (RFP) from 10 regional airlines to fly up to 70 regional jets on routes now controlled by Appleton, Wis.-based Air Wisconsin. The 10 airlines include all of United’s existing partners, as well as Independence Air–the former United Express carrier turned low-fare competitor to UAL at Washington Dulles and Chicago O’Hare Airports.
Notwithstanding recent complaints of poor operational performance by the nation’s biggest regional airlines, passenger boardings, revenue passenger miles (RPMs), load factors and average trip distance all broke records during last year’s third quarter, according to statistics compiled by Washington, D.C.-based The Velocity Group for the Regional Airline Association.
Houston-based ExpressJet Airlines yesterday disclosed that it had established an executive jet charter division.
Houston-based regional airline ExpressJet announced here at NBAA’06 that it planned to open a new division to fly corporate charter services using 10 Embraer ERJ 145XRs scheduled for removal from its Continental Express feeder network. Plans call for the new unit, called ExpressJet Corporate Aviation, to start operations in December and absorb all 10 ERJ 145s by next May.
The recent buying frenzy for FBOs has reached at least one airline. ExpressJet Holdings, whose operations include a fleet of 255 Embraer regional jets operated as Continental Express, has purchased a non-controlling interest in Wing Aviation, an FBO, charter and refurbishment firm based in Conroe, Texas.
Houston’s ExpressJet reached a tentative four-year labor deal with representatives of its 1,200 flight attendants that, if ratified, promises a pay raise of up to 35 percent over four years, an improved 401(k) plan and better job security. Negotiations began in November. The flight attendants had until July 24 to vote on the new agreement.
Aircelle has expanded its global maintenance network into the U.S. through an agreement with Shreveport, La.-based ExpressJet Services. The pairing calls for ExpressJet to repair engine thrust reversers on Legacy 600 business jets and Embraer ERJ-135/145 and 170 regional airliners
ExpressJet began shopping in earnest for a new mainline partner last month as Continental Airlines prepared to ask for bids from other regional airlines to fly roughly a quarter of the Continental Express network. Continental formally notified ExpressJet that it planned to withdraw 69 of the 274 Embraer regional jets from their capacity purchase agreement after the sides failed to reach terms on a new service contract.
Houston-based ExpressJet Holdings has taken a $700,000, 49-percent share in JetX Aviation, a new regional start-up that plans to operate as ExpressJet Europe and possibly use some of the Embraer ERJ 135/145s scheduled for release by Continental Airlines starting next January. Continental has said it will not require 69 of the 274 regional jets now flown by ExpressJet.
Continental Airlines last month accepted a bid from Indianapolis-based Chautauqua Airlines to fly at least 69 regional jets slated for withdrawal from its capacity purchase agreement with long-time Continental Express partner ExpressJet. Continental plans to start the transition in January and finish by the end of next summer.