Mesa To Close Air Midwest

 - February 8, 2008, 6:39 AM

Mesa Air Group plans to shed its Air Midwest subsidiary by the end of this year’s third quarter, company CEO Jonathan Ornstein said last month during the company’s quarterly earnings briefing. Mesa’s intentions became clear in late December, when the company delayed filing its annual 10K report to reflect Air Midwest’s status as a “discontinued operation.” At year-end flying 16 Beech 1900s, Air Midwest has watched its operation gradually diminish over the past few years as Mesa removed routes when it found sublessors for its Beech 1900s. During Mesa’s last fiscal quarter the division lost $6 million, as average fuel prices rose 37 percent, from $2.29 per gallon to $3.13, and regulatory burdens continued to force maintenance and operations costs upward. “The shutdown of Air Midwest, while it may have been long overdue, is now moving forward and will be done by the end of the [fiscal] year,” said Ornstein. Mesa has filed with the DOT to exit Air Midwest’s remaining Essential Air Service routes.