SkyWest Airlines hasn’t found some magic elixir to help it escape the ravages of the global recession, but as long as it continues to perform to its partners’ contractual standards, the country’s largest regional carrier and the host for this year’s RAA convention can count on a steady revenue stream and a strong enough capital position to weather the economic storm.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines
Atlanta-based Atlantic Southeast Airlines last night voluntarily grounded 60 of its Bombardier CRJ200s after an internal audit showed that maintenance crews might not have inspected their GE CF34 turbofans according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. ASA operates 110 of the fifty-seat regional jets, as well as 38 seventy-seat CRJ700s and a pair of 76-seat CRJ900s.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines made history on February 27 when it flew the
first commercial flight in the U.S. with an all-female, all-African American flight
Delta Air Lines president Ed Bastian publicly committed to maintaining ownership control over half of the company’s regional flying last month, meaning its Comair subsidiary will remain a subsidiary into the foreseeable future. Comair became a target for divestiture not long after Delta sold its Atlantic Southeast Airlines subsidiary in 2005 to SkyWest.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines sent furlough notices to 80 pilots last month as partner Delta Air Lines pares back Bombardier CRJ flying. The furloughs take effect February 9. Delta plans to cut its domestic capacity by 8 percent to 10 percent this year in response to falling travel demand.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines accepted its first Bombardier CRJ700 during ceremonies that marked not only the Atlanta-based airline’s baptism as a 70-seat jet operator but the delivery of the Canadian manufacturer’s 600th CRJ–a 40-seat version that entered revenue service with ASA on January 31.
All four of Delta Air Lines’ regional affiliates benefited from the company’s continuing network realignment last month, as Delta concentrates ever more intently on “rationalizing” capacity and cutting costs with regional jets.
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.
Divergent conditions in the regional airline business and the business jet realm have conspired to create a potential boon for completion companies involved in converting Bombardier CRJs into executive transports.
Shortly after announcing plans to accept delivery of another 10 ex-Comair Canadair Regional Jets, St. George, Utah-based SkyWest Airlines negotiated a revision to its code-share contract with Delta Air Lines that will allow it to fly exclusively under a fee-per-departure arrangement.