Pinnacle Airlines has agreed to fly–at least temporarily–the seven Bombardier CRJ900s Delta Air Lines had told Mesa Air Group it would pull from their service contract starting October 6. All told, Pinnacle now flies 12 CRJ900s as Delta Connection–three of which it took from Mesa last month–and by the end of this month it expects to have deployed 18 airplanes, nine on a short-term lease. Meanwhile, Pinnacle plans to deploy two of its own, now idle CRJ900s “from time to time during the fourth quarter as needed to support the transition of the seven temporary aircraft into scheduled service.”
Pinnacle has agreed to fly the seven ex-Mesa CRJ900s until the five remaining CRJ900s Pinnacle has on order from Bombardier begin to arrive in January. As Pinnacle’s aircraft arrive, the airline will return the seven temporary aircraft to Delta, which in turn will reallocate them to another Delta Connection carrier. All told, Pinnacle expects to receive its 16th CRJ900 from Bombardier by May.