Atlantic Southeast Airlines sent furlough notices to 80 pilots last month as partner Delta Air Lines pares back Bombardier CRJ flying. The furloughs take effect February 9. Delta plans to cut its domestic capacity by 8 percent to 10 percent this year in response to falling travel demand.
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.
The trend toward consolidation and alliances among major airlines may concern some in the Justice Department, but it hasn’t restricted opportunities for regional carriers such as SkyWest Airlines, which last month inked its first code-share deal with US Airways.
Delta Air Lines on Friday notified Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group that it plans to cancel its contract to fly Bombardier CRJ900s as Delta Connection. The notice marks the second attempt by Delta to remove Mesa-flown jets from its system in recent months. A federal judge in late May issued an injunction barring Delta from ending Mesa’s contract to fly ERJ 145s.
Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines will continue flying its Bombardier CRJ900s as a Delta Connection carrier under its existing 10-year code-share contract. Delta informed Pinnacle in early June of its decision to dissolve the contract, effective July 31, due to performance shortcomings, but Pinnacle fought the decision, based on its assertion that Delta failed to collaborate on a mutually acceptable schedule as required under the contract.
Houston-based ExpressJet and Delta Air Lines will end their code-share relationship effective September 1, and ExpressJet will cease all scheduled flying under its own brand on September 2, the companies announced last month. The moves will result in the removal from service of 39 Embraer ERJ 145s from the ExpressJet fleet.
American Eagle will cut its daily schedule by 37 flights at New York La Guardia Airport, 34 flights in Chicago and seven in Boston, close its stations in Albany, N.Y.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Providence, R.I.; San Luis Obispo, Calif.; and Samana, Dominican Republic; and ground 29 of its 37-seat Embraer ERJ 135s along with 25 Saab 340 turboprops as American Airlines proceeds with plans to slash capacity this fall by 12 percent systemwide.
Mesaba Airlines has served notice that it no longer wants to play second fiddle to Express Airlines I when Northwest Airlines orchestrates the distribution of its next tranche of regional jets.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines accepted its first Bombardier CRJ700 during ceremonies that marked not only the Atlanta-based airline’s baptism as a 70-seat jet operator but the delivery of the Canadian manufacturer’s 600th CRJ–a 40-seat version that entered revenue service with ASA on January 31.
While the traffic slump that beset the U.S. airline industry as a result of September 11 certainly manifested itself in fourth-quarter financial results across sector lines, an ability to adapt quickly to changing market conditions mitigated the damage to the regional airline business, which showed remarkable resilience in the face of potentially devastating losses.