Bombardier CL600-2B19 CRJ, Lake Michigan, Mich., April 7, 2007–The Mesa Airlines CRJ was substantially damaged when the thrust reverser translating cowling broke off the left engine during cruise and struck the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The captain told the NTSB that at 16,000 feet msl, about 35 miles west of its departure airport, Grand Rapids Gerald R.
Mesa Air Group
Mesa Air Group’s latest code-share partner, Kona, Hawaii-based Mokulele Airlines, flew its first scheduled flight as go!Express last month with a new nine-seat Cessna Grand Caravan. On April 16 Mokulele began flying 12 times a day between Kona and Kahului, Kahului and Kapalua, and Kapalua and Honolulu for Mesa’s go! unit, which continues to serve five Hawaiian destinations with Bombardier CRJ200s.
Keenly aware that code-share partner US Airways might not survive the growing threat of another bankruptcy, Mesa Air Group has expanded its contingencies to include starting a discount airline, à la Atlantic Coast Airlines.
A federal arbitrator’s ruling to award the Allied Pilots Association $23.2 million for American Airlines’ scope-clause violations appears to have achieved its desired effect.
The Bombardier CRJ line of regional jets added to its ample order totals recently when over the span of two weeks Mesa Air Group and SkyWest Airlines each signed new deals involving 50-, 70- and 86-seat jets. In Mesa’s case, the Phoenix-based carrier exercised options on a mix of 20 CRJ700s and -900s for delivery through next year.
Mesa Air Group will fly another 14 Bombardier CRJ900s as Delta Connection starting in September under the terms of a contract amendment that also calls for Mesa to immediately add six 50-seat ERJ 145s, then to remove eight of its original 30 ERJ 145s from August to October 2008. Delta also granted Mesa a $31 million claim in its bankruptcy case.
Maui-based Pacific Wings exacted a small measure of revenge on Hawaiian gatecrasher Mesa Air Group last month when it won the rights to two of Mesa’s Essential Air Service destinations in New Mexico. Pacific Wings plans to start serving Hobbs and Carlsbad, N.M., from Albuquerque using four nine-seat Cessna Grand Caravans on June 1.
The FAA issued an emergency AD last month to all owners and operators of GE CF34-3A1, -3B and -3B1 turbofans after investigators found an electrical arc-out defect in the fan disk of the engine that broke apart during a Mesa Airlines revenue flight on January 25.
The recent run of big orders for new turboprops has no doubt lifted the spirits of the two remaining builders of prop-driven airliners.
Some 25 pilots of Mesa Air Group picketed the company’s headquarters in Phoenix last month to publicly air a series of grievances over work rules. The main issue, according to the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), involves complaints about an alleged company practice of forcing pilots to work on their days off without any notice.