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.
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.
In a move widely expected to portend an industry trend in years to come, Continental Airlines last month confirmed its intention to sell 20 percent of its now wholly owned Continental Express subsidiary on September 1, laying the foundation for an eventual full spin-off of the Houston-based regional airline.
Houston-based ExpressJet became the first airline to operate a scheduled flight with Embraer’s extended-range ERJ-145XR on November 1, when the Continental Airlines affiliate launched nonstop service from Newark (N.J.) International Airport to Oklahoma City and Omaha, Neb., and from Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Richmond, Va.
Houston-based regional airline ExpressJet said today that a committee composed of independent outside members of its board of directors has unanimously rejected a proposal from St. George, Utah-based SkyWest to acquire the company for $3.50 per share in cash.
ExpressJet became the first airline to join the new Embraer Collective Inventory Planning (ECIP) program, in an effort to better manage its spare parts inventory for its fleet of 240 regional jets.
Supported by its AeroChain Web portal, ECIP monitors parts usage and guarantees automatic stock replenishment. Embraer’s U.S. support subsidiary, EACS, manages the program.
Continental Airlines and Brazil’s Embraer last month agreed to defer deliveries on 60 fifty-seat ERJ-145XRs jets by as much as two years, sending stock prices of both companies sharply downward. According to the new schedule, Embraer will deliver to ExpressJet 36 aircraft instead of 48 in 2003 and 21 aircraft instead of 36 in 2004.
CommutAir’s flight operations department accelerated preparations last month for a major expansion scheduled to start March 16 in Cleveland, where the Plattsburg, N.Y.-based Continental Connection affiliate plans to nearly double its capacity by year-end with 12 new destinations.
The application deadline for $125,000 in scholarship money for Women in Aviation International (WAI) members has been extended to December 10. The scholarships include type ratings from Bombardier Business Aviation Services, ExpressJet and Horizon Air, and a separate scholarship from Bombardier for Learjet maintenance training. ICAO, Garmin and Telex are also offering scholarships.