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.
For the first time in recent memory the U.S. regional airline industry could experience a drop in passenger boardings during the second half of this year as skyrocketing fuel costs prompt the nation’s major airlines to reconsider the use of their partners’ most fuel-thirsty assets.
Delta Air Lines notified Pinnacle Airlines last month that it intends to dissolve their Delta Connection contract effective July 31. Delta cited Memphis-based Pinnacle’s failure to meet contractually guaranteed on-time performance rates for its decision. In late May a federal judge blocked Delta’s attempts to end its contract with Mesa Air Group’s Freedom Airlines subsidiary for the same stated reason.
The NTSB said today that a Pinnacle Airlines CRJ200 overran the end of a runway in Traverse City, Mich., last year because the pilots elected to land in snow without performing the required landing-distance calculations.