Colgan Shuts Down

 - October 5, 2012, 4:55 AM

Pinnacle Airlines subsidiary Colgan Air performed its last revenue flight on September 5. Flight 3923, a Bombardier Q400 operating as United Express, flew from Washington Dulles International Airport to Albany International, arriving at 8:11 a.m. local time.

Pinnacle entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection April 1 and on that same day announced its plan to “wind down” all its turboprop flying and close Colgan by November 30. United’s ability to reach a deal quickly with Republic Airways to fly the 28 Q400s leased by Colgan allowed Pinnacle to accelerate the closure process.

Founded by Sen. Charles Colgan in 1965 in Manassas, Va., the “original” Colgan Air launched scheduled operations in 1970. After Colgan sold that airline, he organized a successor airline under the same name in 1991, and ran it with family members until Pinnacle acquired it in 2007 as a vehicle to launch Continental Connection Q400 operations the following year. Now perhaps best known for the fatal crash of a Q400 outside Buffalo, N.Y., in 2009, Colgan also operated one of the world’s largest fleets of Saab 340s.