Houston-based Continental Express regional affiliate ExpressJet congratulated Continental Airlines and United Airlines on their agreement to merge, pending required regulatory approvals. ExpressJet currently operates 244 aircraft, including 206 for Continental as Continental Express and 32 for United as United Express. Based on May flight estimates, ExpressJet’s market share in the combined entity would represent approximately 30 percent.
“We are excited to hear of the news of the merger of Continental Airlines and United Airlines,” said ExpressJet president and CEO Tom Hanley. “Although there is no doubt that both Continental and United will undergo changes as the entities are combined, we are confident that our services to each of these partners will remain at industry-leading levels. ExpressJet looks forward to being an integral part of the success of these companies for many years to come.”
ExpressJet said it doesn’t anticipate the terms of its aircraft leasing arrangements with Continental or its capacity purchase agreements with Continental and United changing materially due to the merger announcement. ExpressJet’s capacity purchase agreement with Continental covers a minimum of 190 aircraft through June 30, 2015, and its agreement with United covers 11 aircraft for a minimum of three years, 11 aircraft for a minimum of two years–both effective Dec. 1, 2009–and 10 more aircraft from May to December 2010.