Indianapolis-based Republic Airways will soon issue five million shares of stock at between $14 and $16 each in its third attempt to take the company public, according to a prospectus filed last month with the SEC.
Delta Air Lines
Political and commercial agendas, both individual and collective, rarely allow for a wholly accurate assessment of the regional airline industry’s condition. With an array
of conflicting and ambiguous signals from within executive circles, trying to gauge industry prospects at this year’s Regional Airline Association convention in St. Louis would prove as frustrating as ever.
The board of directors of Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines has elected company president and CEO Phil Trenary to join the seven-member board. Currently chairman of the RAA, Trenary joined Pinnacle Airlines on April 1, 1997, after a 12-year stint as head of Lone Star Airlines, the San Antonio-based Fairchild Metro operator he established in 1984. Trenary also serves as a director of EnVectra Hazardous Waste Management and Bancorp South.
United Airlines earlier this month formally rejected its code-share contract with Atlantic Coast Airlines, freeing the Sterling, Va.-based regional to speed preparations for its launch of Independence Air–the planned new discount carrier slated to fly from Washington Dulles Airport. The long-time partners have agreed to begin the separation process on June 4 and complete the divorce by August 5.
What started as an annoyance three years ago appears to have turned into a legitimate threat to the essence of the Air Line Pilots Association’s long-held strategy for protecting mainline pilot interests.
The regional airlines became an economic safety net of sorts after September 11, when the majors quickly realized they could not survive flying large airplanes nearly empty. The options–cut flights and market presence entirely or replace mainline jets with smaller aircraft–presented airlines with a clear course of action. Code-sharing regional airliners quickly delivered cost-effective solutions.
The September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon set the stage for an upheaval in the U.S. airline industry unseen since the dawn of deregulation. But while virtually no one besides the enemies of America welcomed the negative economic effects, some airlines may very well emerge from the crisis in a stronger competitive position.
Delta Air Lines last month sold its equity position in SkyWest Airlines in a block trade of 6.2 million shares worth $125 million. Although the deal returns SkyWest to its former status as a fully independent entity, its code-share agreement with Delta will remain untouched, according to Delta CFO Michele Burns. “Delta has an excellent relationship with our partner SkyWest,” she said.
Delta Airlines’ Comair Jet Express, hoping to expand its global presence as an on-demand charter and aircraft management provider, has changed its name to Delta AirElite Business Jets.
The NTSB blamed the crew of the Comair Bombardier regional jet that crashed at Lexington (Ky.) Blue Grass Airport on August 27 last year for failing to realize that they were taking off from the wrong runway. The crash killed 49 people; the first officer, the sole survivor, sustained serious injuries. Runway 26, the runway the crew mistakenly used, is only 3,500 feet long; Runway 22, the runway they were cleared to use, is 7,003 feet long.