Indianapolis-based Republic Airways plans to consolidate its Chautauqua Airlines operation into its Shuttle America subsidiary in an effort to cut costs through a reduction of its air operator certificates to two from three. Company CEO Bryan Bedford sent a letter to employees in late July announcing the company’s intention to migrate Chautauqua’s 41 fifty-seat Embraer ERJ-145s to Shuttle America by year-end.
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The Essential Air Service (EAS), a $193 million DOT program that subsidizes scheduled airline service to approximately 160 rural communities, saw an initial 2013 budget cut of $16 million in response to sequestration. The media response in rural communities was shrill, with headlines such as “Sequester could ground commercial air services statewide” (Mississippi Business Journal, March 22) and “Sequester could ground Great Lakes airline” (Wyoming Business Report, March 7).
The Regional Airline Association (RAA) board of directors elected officers for 2012 during last month’s first American Association of Airport Executives/RAA Airport & Regional Airline Executive Summit in Memphis. American Eagle’s Dan Garton becomes RAA chairman; ExpressJet’s Brad Holt, vice chairman; Cape Air’s Dave Bushy, secretary; and Empire Airlines’ Tim Komberec, treasurer. The board also elected Air Wisconsin’s Jim Rankin and Jazz Air’s Joe Randell to its executive advisory committee.
Houston-based ExpressJet has named Thomas Hanley its new president and CEO. Hanley has replaced interim president and CEO Patrick Kelly, who has returned to his position on ExpressJet’s board of directors on May 1 after filling a vacancy left by long-time CEO James Ream. Ream resigned last December to accept a position with Dallas-based American Airlines.
Houston-based Continental Express regional affiliate ExpressJet congratulated Continental Airlines and United Airlines on their agreement to merge, pending required regulatory approvals. ExpressJet currently operates 244 aircraft, including 206 for Continental as Continental Express and 32 for United as United Express. Based on May flight estimates, ExpressJet’s market share in the combined entity would represent approximately 30 percent.
Jim Ream, the CEO of Houston-based ExpressJet Airlines, has accepted a position with American Airlines as senior vice president of maintenance and engineering, effective January 1. ExpressJet board member Patrick Kelly has assumed Ream’s position in the interim while the board considers candidates to fill the position of CEO for the long term. Ream succeeds Carmine Romano, who has retired after serving 41 years with American Airlines.
Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation announced it would launch EAS routes to four Montana destinations from Billings on February 1, marking an end to nearly a year’s wait for service since the now defunct Big Sky Airlines stopped flying to Glasgow, Glendive, Havre and Wolf Point.
SkyWest last month withdrew its offer to buy Houston’s ExpressJet after concluding that a new seven-year capacity purchase agreement entered by ExpressJet and Continental Airlines rules out any deal. “Although we continue to believe our offer represented a favorable opportunity for ExpressJet stakeholders, the execution of a new ExpressJet capacity purchase agreement removes a fundamental component of our offer,” said SkyWest CFO Brad Rich.
A committee composed of independent outside members of Houston-based ExpressJet’s board of directors unanimously rejected a proposal from St. George, Utah-based SkyWest to acquire the company for $3.50 per share in cash in late April.
The Regional Airline Association (RAA) board of directors elected Atlantic Coast Airlines president Tom Moore chairman of the association during its annual fall membership meeting last month in Washington, D.C. Moore replaces Andy Price, president of Plattsburgh-N.Y-based CommutAir.
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