Indianapolis-based Chautauqua Airlines has transferred the last of its once 23-strong fleet of Embraer 170 jets to its sister carrier, Shuttle America. The move relieves parent company Republic Airways of penalties it has had to pay American Airlines for scope-clause violations. The contract signed by American and its pilots prohibits any American Connection carrier from flying jets that hold more than 50 seats for any partner.
US Airways will ask a bankruptcy court for permission to void its code-share contract with Mesa Air Group, leaving 23 Bombardier CRJ200s and 36 Embraer 145s available for code-share flying with other airlines, Mesa CEO Jonathan Ornstein said during a conference call with investment analysts last month.
Republic Airways last month offered another 7.75 million shares of common stock to help fund a fleet expansion that will see it field 28 Embraer 170s for US Airways and another five for United Airlines. Republic Airways operating unit Republic Airlines, formed last year to fly the 70-seat jets for United, to earn its operating certificate imminently.
Strong wind gusts from August 5 thunderstorms collapsed part of the roof of a new maintenance hangar under construction for Chautauqua Airlines at Louisville International Airport. None of the construction workers on the scene at the time sustained injuries. The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of up to 53 miles per hour at the airport at the time of the collapse.
The FAA certainly tested its patience, but Republic Airways appeared likely to win an operating certificate for its new Republic Airlines division in time to launch Embraer 170 service for US Airways and Delta Air Lines early this month.
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.
Republic Airways late last month exercised purchase options on 30 Embraer E175s, bringing the total number of E-Jets ordered by the Indianapolis-based regional airline to 78. Republic, which took the options from US Airways, will fly the airplanes in an 86-seat cabin layout in US Airways Express livery starting next year. The parties expect deliveries to continue through 2008.
- Page 6