US airlines continued to post improved on-time performance numbers in September—the third straight month they did so and beating the mark they set last year, according to Portland, Ore.-based FlightStats.com. The year-to-date numbers tell a similar story about the seven largest U.S.
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.
Northwest Airlink subsidiary Express Airlines I will move to an all-regional-jet fleet and Minneapolis-based Mesaba Airlines will provide all Northwest Airlines’ Saab 340 service in Memphis, Tenn., under a new agreement that saw Mesaba reduce its service fees to Northwest by 10 percent during last year’s fourth quarter.
Bombardier won a long-anticipated and hard-fought operational lease deal from Northwest Airlines for 75 CRJ-440 regional jets, the newly designated 44-passenger version of the 50-seat CRJ-200. The airline has also taken options on an additional 175 CRJ-440s.
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.
Big Sky Airlines will operate as a subsidiary of Mesaba Holdings by year-end if the Billings, Mont.-based Fairchild Metro III operator meets “certain labor conditions” set by its would-be parent company from Minneapolis. The proposed merger would create a new division within Mesaba Holdings, flying under an operating certificate and labor contracts separate from Mesaba Aviation.
The insidious and far-reaching effects of the WorldCom debacle hit home for Mesaba Airlines, as the Minneapolis-based Northwest Airlink partner watched its devalued bond holdings in the beleaguered communications company shrink its first quarter 2003 income by $2.7 million. As a result, the company’s net income for the quarter ending June 30 totaled $1.6 million, compared with $4.7 million during the same period last year.
The U.S. air transportation system lost one more source of “essential” service last month when Big Sky Airlines officially went out of business. Billings, Mont.-based Big Sky flew its last Beech 1900 service on March 8, leaving another seven communities isolated from the nation’s scheduled airline network.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Pan Am International Flight Academy has installed a Bombardier CRJ flight training device at the school’s Deer Valley, Ariz. facility. Equipped with a wrap-around visual system similar to those used in level-C flight simulators, the FTD uses a navigation database encompassing the entire continental U.S.
Northwest Airlines is considering exercising its right to terminate the Avro RJ85 agreement under which Mesaba leases and operates 36 of the four-engine jets, according to the Minneapolis-based regional airline. Under the terms of a 1996 regional jet services agreement between Northwest and Mesaba, Northwest can end the agreement by giving notice to Mesaba on or before October 28 this year.