United Airlines has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SkyWest Airlines to operate select portions of the company’s United Express service. The MOU, announced June 10, signals an 11-year relationship that includes a new rate structure and allows for more airplanes to be added to the United Express fleet. It also calls for SkyWest to operate a total of 140 aircraft.
Mesa Air Group
Atlantic Coast Airlines in late May reached terms with Bombardier Aerospace on a revised delivery schedule for the remaining 42 CRJ200s on firm order after code-share partner United Airlines won a restraining order to prevent the Sterling, Va.-based regional from terminating its United Express contract.
Last month’s ratification of a cost-cutting deal by the 1,400 pilots of Air Canada Jazz could set the country’s regional airline industry on an entirely new course if management succeeds with a reorganization plan centered on a broader scope of operation for the Air Canada regional subsidiary.
United Airlines last month asked a judge overseeing its bankruptcy case for permission to end the code-sharing and marketing agreement with regional carrier Great Lakes Aviation. According to a UAL spokesman, the request is “essentially procedural” and does not mean UAL rejects out of hand Great Lakes as a code-sharing and marketing partner.
Chinese regional carrier Kun Peng Airlines has placed an order for five Embraer 190s in a deal that further sets the foothold the Brazilian manufacturer has gained in mainland China.
For years major airline executives have recognized their regional affiliates’ potential to take a more active role in serving markets that until recently occupied the exclusive domain of mainline operations. But limited labor resources and influential pilot unions curbed efforts to penetrate the artificial barrier between mainline and regional flying.
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.
Mesa, Ariz., will be the site of a new Hawker Beechcraft Services aircraft
maintenance and service facility.
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.
Hawaiian de Havilland Dash 8 operator IslandAir withdrew from a newly awarded Essential Air Service (EAS) contract to serve four mainland communities from Kansas City last month after deeming its plans to start operations in September “unrealistic” due to rising fuel costs and a shortage of trained personnel.