United Airlines has exercised its right to end its code-share agreement with Mesa Air Group covering the 10 de Havilland Canada Dash 8-200s the Phoenix-based regional flies mainly from Denver as United Express. Mesa expects that the last airplane will exit the United system no later than April 30.
Mesa Air Group
Mesa Air Group will take a controlling stake in Republic Airways subsidiary Mokulele Airlines under the terms of a deal signed yesterday that will see three Republic/Shuttle America Embraer E170s exit the Mokulele fleet next month in favor of Bombardier CRJs flown by Mesa’s Hawaiian subsidiary, Go!. Under the terms of the contract, Mesa will take a 75-percent interest in the joint venture and Republic a 25-percent share.
When is a business jet not a business jet?–When it has been developed into a regional jet that has been converted into a corporate jet. Some of those conversions, such as that of the Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet Series 200 (CRJ200), itself based on the CL-600 Challenger business jet, have enjoyed mixed fortunes.
The Mesa Air Group CRJ200 pilots who fell asleep during a flight from Honolulu to Hilo on February 13 last year started work at 5:40 a.m. on three consecutive days before the incident, according to an NTSB factual report issued August 3.
The Feb. 13, 2008, incident in which both pilots fell asleep at the controls of a Go! Bombardier regional jet en route to Hilo, Hawaii, was caused by “the captain and first officer inadvertently falling asleep during the cruise phase of flight,” the Board noted. Luckily, the RJ carried extra fuel for a return trip to Honolulu, and the pilots woke up after flying 26 miles past Hilo.
The first Project Phoenix CRJ is about to enter service, having made its first flight on June 12 from the Flying Colours facility in Canada, where the former Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet was converted into a 15-passenger business jet. The customer for the CRJ is Hong Kong-based aircraft sales group Ritz Pacific.
The DOT has awarded Portland, Ore.-based SeaPort Airlines Essential Air Service subsidies for routes from Memphis to four Arkansas communities starting October 1. Harrison, Hot Springs, El Dorado and Jonesboro, Ark., have gone without scheduled service since June 1 of last year, when Mesa Air Group dissolved Air Midwest, ending its Beech 1900 service to the four cities from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
A U.S. Court of Appeals last month affirmed the preliminary injunction that barred Delta Air Lines from ending Mesa Air Group’s Delta Connection agreement covering 22 Embraer ERJ 145s. A U.S. District Court issued the injunction in May of last year after Delta alleged that Mesa subsidiary Freedom Airlines failed to meet completion rate guarantees.
Republic Airlines injected another $2.5 million into its partnership with Hawaii’s Mokulele Airlines on May 1 and this month plans to send a fourth Embraer E170 to the islands as it stages a more serious effort to raise its profile in the market. This past March Republic demoted former Mokulele CEO Bill Boyer to head of sales and marketing and installed its own vice president for strategic alliances, Scott Durgin, as interim CEO.
Dubai-based Project Phoenix is the latest company to bring a corporate Bombardier CRJ variant to market, with its first example due to be accepted by owner Ritz Pacific before the end of next month. Completion of the modified regional jet was contracted to Peterborough, Ontario-based Flying Colours, which also has produced its own ExecLiner and Jetcorp Renaissance Series CRJ executive conversions.