The sagging market valuations of airlines across the U.S. since September 11 have prompted Continental Airlines to reconsider plans to spin off its wholly owned regional subsidiary into an independent entity. As a result, the airline has postponed its planned initial public stock offering of ExpressJet from parent company Continental Airlines until market conditions warrant renewed consideration of such a move.
In the wake of a first quarter that saw his airline’s operating margins cut by more than half from a year earlier, ExpressJet CEO Jim Ream didn’t see much point last month in revealing traffic figures for the company’s new branded operation. But in case anyone held out hope that things went better than expected, Ream didn’t just let the omission speak for itself. “The markets are thin,” he said.
The winter storm that stranded thousands of travelers throughout the Northeast in the middle of February didn’t put a damper on this year’s annual Women in Aviation International (WAI) conference. In fact, a record 3,200 people attended the event, held February 15 to 17 at the Walt Disney World Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Fla. Conference organizers say they received just 127 cancellations.
JetBlue Airways last month recruited Houston-based ExpressJet to fly four 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145s as replacements for each pair of E190s it sends to Embraer’s heavy maintenance center in Nashville to address service bulletins and install avionics
Houston-based ExpressJet joins some pretty rarefied company this month when it begins flying 44 Embraer ERJ 145s under its own colors in a point-to-point “spider web” network of 24 cities ranging from Monterey, Calif., to Raleigh-Durham, N.C. The new operation marks the second attempt in the last few years by a regional airline to set out on its own after failing to reach terms on code-share contract concessions with its mainline parent.
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.