Mesa Air Group’s recently signed code-share agreement with Frontier Airlines calls for the Phoenix-based regional airline to begin flights from Denver International Airport to San Jose, Calif., and Houston as Frontier JetExpress, starting February 17. The 8:45 a.m.
Mesa Air Group
In an industry led by comparatively conservative, low-key individuals, one regional airline executive not only tolerates the spotlight, he welcomes it. Mesa Air Group chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein–now in his fourth year as head of one of the country’s largest regional carriers–has become one of the industry’s most controversial figures.
Westair Aviation, an FBO at Westchester County (N.Y.) Airport since 1950, moved into new facilities and expanded its services. The new complex, adjacent to the control tower on the non-airline side of the airport, features a 15,000-sq-ft heated hangar, 25,000 sq ft of ramp parking, passenger terminal, crew lounge and computerized flight planning.
In an unexpected turn of events, Midwest Express and Fairchild Dornier have resolved their dispute over the cancellation of the 428JET program, leading to a follow-on order for four 32-seat 328JETs and options for 10 of the high-wing regional jets for the Milwaukee-based carrier’s regional subsidiary, Skyway Airlines.
The profound damage inflicted by the September 11 terrorist attacks brought changes to the U.S. airline industry the most prescient observer could not have envisioned three months ago. Twenty-percent industrywide capacity cuts, furloughs and layoffs, large-scale route transfers from mainline carriers to regional affiliates and aircraft delivery deferrals have all marked one of the most volatile periods in the industry’s history.
Despite United Airlines’ apparent decision to abandon its attempt to buy US Airways for $4.3 billion, the airlines agreed to submit to the Justice Department a merger proposal for full review in compliance with a 21-day review period requirement, prompting applause from DC Air CEO Robert Johnson, who pledged to locate his airline’s headquarters in Washington if the merger survives Justice Department scrutiny.
Mesa Air Group last month reversed its decision to establish a new Cincinnati base and canceled all the flights scheduled to six cities from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport for July 8. Mesa contacted all affected passengers and reaccommodated them on Delta Air Lines or Comair flights.
Airline executives whose predictions of regional divestitures raised eyebrows just two years ago watched their prophesies turn to hard reality in late February, as Northwest Airlines announced its intention to spin off its Memphis-based Express Airlines I subsidiary and Continental Airlines revisited its plans to divest itself from Continental Express.
Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has signed a memorandum of understanding to enter a new fleet management program with Pratt & Whitney Canada that would include the sale of “certain assets” related to its Desert Turbine Services unit and spare PT6 engines. The tentative six-year deal covers 58 Beech 1900Ds and 116 engines, valued at some $70 million.
CCAir president Carter Leake last month notified his employees that parent company Mesa Air Group planned to close the money-losing regional airline on July 1. Leake’s memo arrived on the same day as Mesa’s latest contract proposal to CCAir’s pilots. The pilots rejected a previous proposal.