United Airlines, Inc. referred to as just United, is a major American airline headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. United operates a large domestic and international route network, with an extensive presence in the Asia-Pacific region. United is a founding member of the Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance with a total of 28 member airlines. Regional service is operated by independent carriers under the brand name United Express. United was established by the amalgamation of several airlines in the late 1920s, the oldest of these being Varney Air Lines, founded in 1926. United has seven hubs, with Chicago–O'Hare being its largest in terms of passengers carried and the number of departures; the company employs over 86,000 people while maintaining its headquarters in Chicago's Willis Tower. Through the airline's parent company, United Continental Holdings, it is publicly traded under NYSE: UAL with a market capitalization of over US$21 billion as of January 2018. United traces its roots to Varney Air Lines, which Walter Varney founded in 1926 in Idaho.
Continental Airlines is the successor to Speed Lanes, which Varney had founded by 1932 and whose name changed to Varney Speed Lines in 1934. VAL flew the first contracted air mail flight in the U. S. on April 6, 1926. In 1927, William Boeing founded Boeing Air Transport to operate air mail routes under contract with the United States Post Office Department. In 1929, Boeing merged his company with Pratt & Whitney to form the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation which set about buying, in the space of just 28 months, Pacific Air Transport, Stout Air Services, VAL, National Air Transport, as well as numerous equipment manufacturers at the same time. On March 28, 1931, UATC formed United Air Lines, Inc. as a holding company for its airline subsidiaries. In late 2006, Continental Airlines and United had preliminary merger discussions. On April 16, 2010, those discussions resumed; the board of directors of Continental and UAL Corporation agreed on May 2, 2010, to combine operations, contingent upon shareholder and regulatory approval.
On October 1, 2010, the UAL Corporation changed its name to Inc.. The carriers planned to begin merging their operations in 2011; the merged airline began operating under a single air operator's certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration on November 30, 2011. On March 3, 2012, United and Continental merged their passenger service systems, frequent-flier programs, websites, which eliminated the Continental brand with the exception of its logo. United operates to 231 destinations and 125 international destinations in 48 countries across five continents. United operates seven hubs. Chicago–O'Hare – United's largest hub and its hub for the Midwest. United flies 36 million passengers through O'Hare every year, about 99,000 people per day, making it the busiest airline at the airport. United's corporate headquarters are in Chicago. Denver – United's hub for the central and western United States. In 2017, United flew 25.9 million passengers through DIA or about 71,000 people per day. As of December 2017, United has about 42% of the market share at DIA making it the airport's largest airline.
Houston–Intercontinental – United's hub for the Southern United States and primary gateway to Latin America. About 33.5 million passengers fly through Houston on United every year, or about 91,000 people per day. United has about 78% of the seat share at Bush, making it the airport's largest tenant. Los Angeles – United's secondary hub for the West Coast and gateway to Asia and Australia. About 10 million passengers fly through LAX on about 28,000 people per day. United has 15% of the market share at LAX, making it the third-biggest carrier at the airport. Newark – United's primary hub for the East Coast and a gateway to Europe, Latin America and Asia. About 28.5 million passengers fly on United through Newark every year, or about 78,000 people per day. United controls about 81% of the slots at Newark and carries about 68% of all passengers at the airport. United uses part of Terminal A for United Express Flights. San Francisco – United's primary hub for the West Coast and gateway to Asia and Australia.
About 22 million passengers pass through SFO every year on United, about 60,000 people per day. United has about 46% of the market share at San Francisco International, making it the biggest airline at the airport. Washington–Dulles – United's secondary hub for the East Coast and gateway to Europe. United has about 65% of the market share at Washington Dulles, making it the largest airline at the airport. About 14 million passengers fly through Dulles every year on United, about 38,465 people per day. United Airlines is a member of the Star Alliance and has codeshare agreements with the following airlines: In addition to the above codeshares, United has entered into joint ventures with the following airlines: Air Canada Air New Zealand All Nippon Airways Austrian Airlines Brussels Airlines Lufthansa Swiss International Air Lines As of March 2019, United Airlines operated a fleet of 778 aircraft. On July 20, 2011, American Airlines announced an order for 460 narrowbody jets, including 260 Airbus A320s.
The order broke Boeing's monopoly with the airline and forced Boeing into the re-engined 737 MAX. This sale included a Most-Favoured-Customer Clause, which requires Airbus to refund to American any difference between the price paid by American and a lower price paid by United or another airline; this perpetuates United's having a Boeing-skewed fleet. On September 22, 2012, United became the first American airline to take delivery of Boeing 787 aircraft. Un
Southwest Airlines Co. is a major United States airline headquartered in Dallas, is the world's largest low-cost carrier. The airline was established in 1967 by Herb Kelleher as Air Southwest Co. and adopted its current name, Southwest Airlines Co. in 1971, when it began operating as an intrastate airline wholly within the state of Texas, first flying between Dallas and San Antonio. The airline has about 58,000 employees as of September 2018 and operates about 4,000 departures a day during peak travel season; as of April 2019, Southwest carries the most domestic passengers of any United States airline. The airline has scheduled services to 100 destinations in the United States and ten additional countries. Service to Hawaii has started in March 2019. Southwest Airlines was founded in 1966 by Herbert Kelleher and Rollin King, in 1967 it was incorporated as Air Southwest Co. Three other airlines took legal action to try to prevent the company from its planned strategy of undercutting their prices by flying only within Texas and thus being exempt from various regulations.
The lawsuits were resolved in 1970, in 1971 the airline began operating scheduled flights between Dallas Love Field and Houston and between Love Field and San Antonio, adopted the name Southwest Airlines Co. In 1975, Southwest began operating flights to various additional cities within Texas, in 1979 it began flying to neighboring states. Service to the East and the Southeast started in the 1990s; as of April 2019, Southwest Airlines has scheduled flights to 102 destinations in 41 states, Puerto Rico, Central America and the Caribbean. It operates crew bases at the following airports: Atlanta, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Houston–Hobby, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland and Phoenix–Sky Harbor. Southwest does not use the "hub and spoke" system of other major airlines, preferring the "point-to-point" system, combined with a "rolling hub" model in its larger cities. In 2018, Gary Kelly – the airline's chief executive – suggested that the airline may be considering potential route expansions to Canada and Europe.
Southwest does not partner with any other airline. Icelandair: In 1997, Southwest and Icelandair entered into interline and marketing agreements allowing for joint fares, coordinated schedules, transfer of passenger luggage between the two airlines in Baltimore and a place connecting passengers between several U. S. cities and several European cities. The frequent flyer programs were not included in the agreement; this arrangement lasted for several years but ended when Icelandair's service from BWI to KEF ended in January 2007. ATA Airlines: In a departure from its traditional "go it alone" strategy, Southwest entered into its first domestic codesharing arrangement with ATA, which enabled Southwest Airlines to serve ATA markets in Hawaii, Washington, D. C. and New York City. At the time of ATA's demise in April 2008, the airline offered over 70 flights a week to Hawaii from Southwest's focus cities in PHX, LAS, LAX and OAK with connections available to many other cities across the United States.
The ATA/Southwest codeshare was terminated when ATA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 3, 2008. Southwest acquired the operating certificate and some of the landing rights of ATA in the ensuing proceedings. WestJet: On July 8, 2008, Southwest Airlines signed a codeshare agreement with WestJet of Canada, giving the two airlines the ability to sell seats on each other's flights; the partnership was to be finalized by late 2009, but had been postponed due to economic conditions. On April 16, 2010, Southwest and WestJet airlines amicably agreed to terminate the implementation of a codeshare agreement between the two airlines. Volaris: Southwest signed its second international codeshare agreement on November 10, 2008, with Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris; the agreement allowed Southwest to sell tickets on Volaris flights. However, on February 22, 2013, the connecting agreement was terminated, it was said to be mutual between the airlines. Most industry experts believe that the expansion of the subsidiary of Southwest, AirTran Airways, into more Mexican markets, was a main reason for the termination of the agreement.
AirTran Airways: After acquiring AirTran Airways in 2011, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways took the first step in connecting their networks on January 26, 2013, by offering a small number of shared itineraries in five markets. The agreement ended after AirTran became integrated into Southwest on December 28, 2014. Southwest Airlines has only operated Boeing 737 jetliner models, except for a period from 1979 to 1987 when it leased and operated several Boeing 727-200s from Braniff International Airways. Southwest is the largest operator of the Boeing 737 worldwide, with 750 in service, each averaging six flights per day. While most U. S. airlines now charge passengers for checked luggage, Southwest continues to permit 2 free checked bags per passenger. Regarding last-minute itinerary changes, Southwest does not charge any change fees. In the event of a cancellation, passengers are refunded a travel credit in the amount spent on their ticket, the credit may be used toward any other Southwest Airlines or Southwest Vacations purchase within a year of the original ticket purchase.
Southwest offers free in-flight non-alcoholic beverages and offers alcoholic beverages for sale for $6–7/beverage, with Rapid Rewards members eligible to receive drinks vouchers with their tickets. Free alcoholic drinks are offered on popular holidays su
American Airlines, Inc. is a major American airline headquartered in Fort Worth, within the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It is the world's largest airline when measured by fleet size, scheduled passengers carried, scheduled passenger-kilometers flown, number of destinations served. American, together with its regional partners, operates an extensive international and domestic network with an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American Airlines is a founding member of Oneworld alliance, the third largest airline alliance in the world. Regional service is operated by independent and subsidiary carriers under the brand name American Eagle. American operates out with Dallas/Fort Worth being its largest. American operates its primary maintenance base in Tulsa in addition to the maintenance locations located at its hubs; as of 2017, the company employs over 122,000 people. Through the airline's parent company, American Airlines Group, it is publicly traded under NASDAQ: AAL with a market capitalization of about $25 billion as of 2017, included in the S&P 500 index.
American Airlines was started in 1930 via a union of more than eighty small airlines. The two organizations from which American Airlines was originated were Robertson Aircraft Corporation and Colonial Air Transport; the former was first created in Missouri in 1921, with both being merged in 1929 into holding company The Aviation Corporation. This in turn, was rebranded as American Airways. In 1934, when new laws and attrition of mail contracts forced many airlines to reorganize, the corporation redid its routes into a connected system, was renamed American Airlines. Between 1970 and 2000, the company grew into being an international carrier, purchasing Trans World Airlines in 2001. American had a direct role in the development of the DC-3, which resulted from a marathon telephone call from American Airlines CEO C. R. Smith to Donald Douglas, when Smith persuaded a reluctant Douglas to design a sleeper aircraft based on the DC-2 to replace American's Curtiss Condor II biplanes. Douglas agreed to go ahead with development only after Smith informed him of American's intention to purchase 20 aircraft.
The prototype DST first flew on December 17, 1935. Its cabin was 92 in wide, a version with 21 seats instead of the 14–16 sleeping berths of the DST was given the designation DC-3. There was no prototype DC-3. American Airlines inaugurated passenger service on June 26, 1936, with simultaneous flights from Newark, New Jersey and Chicago, Illinois. In 2011, due to a downturn in the airline industry, American Airlines' parent company AMR Corporation filed for bankruptcy protection. In 2013, American Airlines merged with US Airways but kept the American Airlines name, as it was the better recognized brand internationally; as of December 2018, American Airlines flies to 95 domestic destinations and 95 international destinations in 55 countries in five continents. American operates ten hubs. Charlotte – American's hub for the Southeast. About 42 million passengers fly through CLT on about 115,000 people per day. American has about 91% of the market share at CLT, making it the airport's largest airline.
Chicago–O'Hare – American's hub for the Midwest. About 28 million passengers fly on American through O'Hare every year, or about 77,000 people per day. American has about 35% of the market share at O'Hare making it the airport's second-largest airline after United. Dallas/Fort Worth – American's hub for the South. American has about 84% of the market share and flies 57 million passengers through DFW every year, about 156,000 people per day making it the busiest airline at the airport. American's corporate headquarters are in Fort Worth near the airport. DFW serves as American's primary gateway to Mexico, secondary gateway to Latin America. Los Angeles – American's hub for the West Coast and its transpacific gateway. About 16.5 million passengers fly through LAX on American every year, or about 45,000 people per day. American has about 19 % of the market share at LAX. Miami – American's primary Latin American hub. About 30 million passengers fly through MIA every year on American, about 79,000 people per day.
American has about 68% of the market share at Miami International, making it the largest airline at the airport. New York–JFK – American's secondary transatlantic hub. About 7 million passengers fly through JFK on American every year, or about 19,000 people per day. American has about 12% of the market share at JFK, making it the third-largest carrier at the airport behind Delta and JetBlue. Since 2017, American has been reducing its international operations at JFK, opting to expand its Philadelphia hub instead. JFK serves as a major connecting point for other Oneworld carriers. New York–LaGuardia – American's second New York hub. About 8.5 million passengers fly through LGA on about 23,000 people per day. The airport serves as a base for American Airlines Shuttle. American has about 27% of the market share at LGA, is the second-largest carrier behind Delta. Philadelphia – American's primary transatlantic hub. Americ
ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. is an American airline based in College Park, Georgia. It was a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc. parent company of the air carrier SkyWest Airlines until December 18, 2018, when it was sold to ManaAir, LLC for $70 million and the assumption of all debts. Before the acquisition by SkyWest it was an independent airline, a subsidiary of Continental Airlines. ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. Continental Express, Inc. was a Delaware corporation. Although an autonomous business entity since its divestiture from Continental Airlines, Inc. in 2002, it continued to operate as Continental Express for Continental Airlines from hubs at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Ohio. Its training center is on the grounds of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. In August 2010, SkyWest Inc. agreed to merge with ExpressJet Holdings, whereby SkyWest Inc.'s wholly owned subsidiary, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, would purchase ExpressJet for $6.75 per share.
Atlantic Southeast Airlines and ExpressJet became the world's largest regional airline on November 12, 2010, once the purchase was final. On November 22, 2011, both ExpressJet and Atlantic Southeast Airlines achieved a single operating certificate that allowed them to operate as one carrier, using Atlantic Southeast's former call sign "Acey". Effective December 31, 2011, all flights began operating under the name ExpressJet. ExpressJet operates as United Express; the airline was established in 1986 and started operations in 1987. Its origins were in a group of small commuter airlines acquired by Texas Air Corporation / Continental Airlines; these included Bar Harbor Airlines in Maine, Provincetown-Boston Airlines in New England, Rocky Mountain Airways in Denver and Britt Airways in Terre Haute, Indiana. ExpressJet operates under the original Federal Aviation Administration Part 121 certificate issued to Britt, which began operations as Continental Express in April 1987 and was acquired by Continental Airlines.
ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. incorporated in 1996. ExpressJet was spun off from Continental in 2002. Afterwards the company began plans to move into a corporate headquarters location. ExpressJet has over 8,000 employees. ExpressJet Holdings owns American Composites LLC, Saltillo Jet Center, InTech Aerospace Services. Together with other facilities throughout the U. S. they make up ExpressJet Services which provides third-party maintenance and overhaul services for a variety of aircraft types. ExpressJet Holdings has non-controlling interests in Wings Holdings LLC 49% and Flight Services and Systems Inc 44%. Before ExpressJet became independent, it was headquartered in Continental Center I in Downtown Houston. Following a December 2005 decision by Continental to reduce ExpressJet's Continental Express flying by 69 aircraft, the airline elected to operate the aircraft independently. On December 31, 2006, the airline began its charter operation, it operates 6 aircraft for charter services under the Corporate Aviation Division.
On February 5, 2007, the airline announced service to 24 cities in the west coast and midwest regions of the United States beginning in April 2007. On April 2, 2007, the airline began point-to-point services under its own name from locations throughout the U. S; the airline had a total of 42 aircraft in their branded operation. According to ExpressJet CEO James Ream, LA/Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California would become the airline's "biggest center of operation". In March 2007, ExpressJet operated four of its Embraer 145 jets on JetBlue routes while JetBlue's Embraer 190 jets were being serviced. In June 2007, the airline began service at Los Angeles International Airport to western ski markets and Mexico on behalf of Delta Air Lines under the Delta Connection banner using 10 EMB 145XR aircraft. In July 2007, the agreement was increased to 18 aircraft. In July 2008, the agreement was terminated and ExpressJet ended all Delta Connection flying by September 1. A few days after announcing the end of its agreement with Delta, ExpressJet announced on July 8, 2008, that it would end its independent ExpressJet-branded flying on September 2 due to the oil price increases since 2003.
This resulted in the furlough of 347 pilots. In September 2007, the airline agreed to provide feeder service for Frontier Airlines from Denver International Airport while federal certification for Frontier's Lynx Aviation turboprop subsidiary was underway. ExpressJet flew to 5 cities from Frontier's Denver hub using 50-seat ERJ 145 regional jets until Frontier's subsidiary, Lynx Aviation, received DOT approval in December 2007; as of December 7, ExpressJet discontinued providing feeder service for Frontier Airlines. On August 21, 2009, an incident occurred where passengers were forced to stay on a parked plane at Rochester, Minnesota for six hours with no food and overflowing toilets; the airline crew tried over thirty times to call the contract carrier, Delta Connection, to let the passengers off. The agents for the regional Mesaba Airlines refused; the Department of Transportation cited the main cause of the incident as the Mesaba Airlines station's refusal to park the aircraft. However, Continental Airlines and ExpressJet were fined for the part they played in the incident.
ExpressJet began a temporary contract with United Airlines to fly as a United Express carrier beginning in June 2009. The contract was for 10 aircraft that operated out of United's O'Hare and Washington hub; the aircraft were flown in ExpressJet livery. The contract ended on Septembe
SkyWest Airlines is a North American regional airline headquartered in St. George, Utah. SkyWest is classified as one of the major airlines of the United States. However, as a regional airline it serves as and operates for other major air carriers via code sharing agreements that it has contracted with such as American, Delta and United. SkyWest is paid to operate and maintain aircraft used on flights that are scheduled and priced by a partner mainline airline. In all, it is the largest regional airline in North America when measured by fleet size, number of passengers carried, number of destinations served between all the airlines it contracts with. SkyWest operates an average of more than 2,200 flights per day to 250+ cities in the United States, Canada and the Bahamas with an extensive network of routes set up to connect passengers between smaller airports and the large hubs of its partner airlines. In total, SkyWest carried 35.9 million passengers in 2017. Under various contracts, the company operates an average of 897 flights per day as Delta Connection on behalf of Delta Air Lines, 812 flights per day as United Express on behalf of United Airlines, 332 flights per day as American Eagle on behalf of American Airlines, 144 flights per day as Alaska SkyWest in partnership with Alaska Airlines.
The vast majority of SkyWest’s contracts are fixed-fee, with partner airlines paying a set amount for each flight operated, regardless of the number of passengers carried. The remaining 7% of flights are operated under a pro-rate contract, with SkyWest assuming all costs, setting fares, retaining all revenue from non-connecting passengers, splitting the fares of connecting passengers on a pro-rated basis with the partner airline. SkyWest operates on a pro-rate basis on 68 routes across 10 hubs through agreements with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines. SkyWest is owned by Inc. an airline holding company. SkyWest provides contract ground handling services at airports across the United States. Frustrated by the limited extent of existing air service, Ralph Atkin, a St. George, Utah lawyer, purchased Dixie Airlines to shuttle businessmen to Salt Lake City in 1972. After early struggles, SkyWest began a steady expansion across the western U. S, it became the eleventh largest regional carrier in 1984 when it acquired Sun Aire Lines of Palm Springs and had its initial public offering in 1986.
In 1985, SkyWest began codesharing as Western Express, a feeder service for Western Airlines at its Salt Lake City hub and other mainline Western destinations utilizing Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia and Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprop aircraft. Following the acquisition and merger of Western by Delta Air Lines in 1986, SkyWest became a Delta Connection air carrier with code share service being flown on behalf of Delta to destinations in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Wyoming. In 1995, SkyWest began operating flights for Continental Airlines out of LAX; the relationship was discontinued two years when SkyWest began flying for United Airlines. SkyWest's United Express flights out of SFO, LAX and DEN became its largest operation by the late 1990s. A partnership with Continental was revived in 2003 out of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, but was discontinued in June 2005. On August 15, 2005, Delta sold Atlantic Southeast Airlines to the newly incorporated SkyWest, Inc. for $425 million in cash.
The acquisition was completed on September 8, 2005. On August 4, 2010, SkyWest, Inc. announced that it planned to acquire ExpressJet Airlines and merge it with SkyWest subsidiary Atlantic Southeast Airlines in a deal reported to have a value of $133 million. The purchase aligned the largest commuter operations of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, who were in a merger process, was approved on September 13, 2010, by the Federal Trade Commission. In May 2011, SkyWest replaced six Horizon Air flights on the West Coast being operated for Alaska Airlines; the flights were based out of Seattle and Portland, fly to several California cities including Fresno, Santa Barbara and Ontario. Alaska Airlines has similar agreements with PenAir for Alaskan flights and Horizon Air for flights in the lower 48. On September 6, 2011, AirTran Airways ended its partnership with SkyWest. Shortly after, SkyWest began a codesharing agreement with US Airways to operate CRJ200 aircraft from US Airways' hub in Phoenix, Arizona.
On November 15, 2012, SkyWest began a capacity purchase agreement with American Airlines for 12 CRJ200 aircraft from American's hub in Los Angeles, California. On September 6, 2017, SkyWest Airlines reported that it has entered into aircraft purchase agreements and capacity purchase agreements to acquire and fly 15 new aircraft with Delta Air Lines and 10 new aircraft with Alaska Airlines. Of the 25 aircraft, 15 Embraer E175 SC aircraft will fly under an agreement with Delta in a 70-seat configuration; the E175 SC aircraft can be retrofitted to 76 seats in the future. The agreement with Alaska includes 10 Embraer E175s, which will be configured with 76 seats, similar to aircraft SkyWest has placed into service with Alaska. Expected delivery dates of the 25 aircraft run from March 2018 through the end of 2018. On December 18, 2018, SkyWest, Inc. announced that it would sell ExpressJet Airlines to another airline holding company with ties to United Airlines, ExpressJet's sole client. The 70 million dollar deal closed on January 23, 2019.
SkyWest flies to 251 destinations throughout North America including Denver International Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport, San Francisco International Airport
Mesa Airlines, Inc. is an American regional airline based in Phoenix, Arizona. It is an FAA Part 121-certificated air carrier operating under air carrier certificate number MASA036A issued on June 29, 1979, it is a subsidiary of Mesa Air Group and operates flights as American Eagle and United Express via respective code sharing agreements with American Airlines and United Airlines. It serves more than 180 markets in the Western Hemisphere. In a 1997 article from the Journal of Air Transportation, Mesa's safety record was noted as having the fewest incidents among domestic regional airlines At that time. Mesa filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2010, hoping to shed financial obligations for leases on airplanes it no longer needed, emerged from bankruptcy in March of 2011. Since 2013, Mesa has added more aircraft to its fleet than any other regional airline. In November 2017, Mesa opened a new training center in Phoenix; the 23,000-square-foot facility features a full-size CRJ-200 cabin trainer aircraft, 14 classrooms, has the capacity to train 300 crew members at one time.
Mesa Airlines operates as: the regional marketing brand of American Airlines. Mesa began flying routes as American Eagle in 2014 from American's hubs in Dallas/Fort Worth and Phoenix using Bombardier CRJ900 regional jet aircraft. United Express, a mainline airline marketing sub-brand using United Express liveried fleet of Bombardier CRJ700 and Embraer 175 aircraft under a revenue-guarantee code sharing agreement, its hubs are at Washington Dulles for the CRJ700 aircraft. Air Midwest CalPac Desert Sun Airlines FloridaGulf Airlines Go! Liberty Express Airlines Mountain West Airlines Skyway Airlines Superior Airlines Mesa began operations as Mesa Air Shuttle in Farmington, New Mexico, in 1980. From 1989 through 1998, Mesa Airlines operated as a conglomeration of up to eight separate airlines. For the history of the acquisition and expansion of Mesa Airlines during this time see Mesa Air Group; the following history section details the history of the individual airlines that comprised Mesa Airlines during this time frame.
The original Mesa Air Shuttle was a flight division of JB Aviation in Farmington, New Mexico and operated a single route from Farmington to Albuquerque using a Piper Saratoga aircraft. In 1981 as the original Frontier Airlines was discontinuing its flights between the two cities, Mesa obtained a twin engine Piper Navajo Chieftain and increased service on the route. In 1982 the original owners sold the company to Janie Risley; the Risley's expanded the carrier by acquiring a fleet of 14-passenger seat Beechcraft 99 commuter turboprops and adding service throughout New Mexico and surrounding states with a hub at Albuquerque. In 1985 larger 19-passenger seat Beechcraft 1900's were acquired which replaced the Beech 99's and became the backbone of Mesa's fleet. By 1987 up to 47 daily departures were operating from Albuquerque to 18 cities. In 1987 a Denver hub was created when Mesa acquired Centennial Airlines which operated several routes from Denver into Wyoming. After an initial route from Farmington and Gallup to Phoenix began in 1985, Phoenix was expanded into a hub in 1989 with new routes throughout Arizona.
In 1990, most Denver flights were incorporated into the United Express division which Mesa had acquired from Aspen Airways. In 1992, when Mesa established a code share with America West Airlines, its Phoenix hub was turned over to the America West Express division. A minor hub was operated at Farmington in the late 1980s with up to 22 daily flights connecting Albuquerque and Salt Lake City to Durango and Telluride, CO. For a brief time in 1995 and 1996, the Mesa Airlines operation at Albuquerque, the United Express operation in Denver, the America West Express operation in Phoenix were all known as operated by Mountain West Airlines. In 1997 and 1998, routes from Little Rock to Nashville and Wichita and from Nashville to Tupelo were added, first as Mesa Airlines later as US Airways Express. In 1997, Mesa established a small hub at Fort Worth Meacham International Airport, using two Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet aircraft, providing service from Fort Worth to San Antonio and Houston Hobby, as well as new routes from Colorado Springs to Nashville and San Antonio.
The venture was short-lived and these routes were all eliminated during corporate restructuring. The Albuquerque hub was merged into Air Midwest in 2001 but operated as a code share for Mesa Airlines until the hub was dissolved at the end of 2007. In 1998, Mesa moved its headquarters from Farmington, NM to Phoenix, AZ. In September 1992, Mesa negotiated a code sharing agreement with America West Airlines to operate as America West Express out of its Phoenix hub, serving 12 cities; these routes were from the independent Mesa operation and several Beech 1900D aircraft were painted in the America West Airlines scheme. The code share allowed increased frequency and increased load factors and expansion into several new markets. In 1995, Mesa created a new subdivision called Desert Sun Airlines and acquired a pair of Fokker 70 jets for use on new America West Express routes from Phoenix to Des Moines and Spokane. Desert Sun was merged into the Mesa Airlines division in 1997 and its Fokker 70 aircraft were replaced by Canadair CRJ-200 regional jet aircraft.
The CRJ-200 aircraft began replacing the Beechcraft 1900D and Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprops. The BE-1900Ds were transitioned over to Mesa's Air Midwest subsidiary. Beginning in December 1997, Mesa began operating de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 series 200 aircraft between Ph
CommutAir, operating as United Express, is an American regional airline founded in 1989, is majority-owned by Champlain Enterprises Inc. Today, CommutAir operates more than 800 weekly flights to 30 plus destinations, with Embraer ERJ-145XR aircraft, from its bases at Newark Liberty International, NJ and Washington Dulles International. In 1979, a commuter airline using the name Commutair operated intercity shuttle service in the Houston, Texas area between Hobby Airport and Intercontinental Airport and between Sugarland Airport and Intercontinental Airport with de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter and Beechcraft twin turboprop aircraft; the airline was established in 1989, with headquarters at Clinton County Airport in Plattsburgh, New York. Operations began on August 1989 as a marketing affiliate of US Air; the airline changed affiliations to Continental Airlines in December 2000, when US Airways and CommutAir failed to reach a mutually acceptable extension agreement, thus decided not to renew the codeshare agreement.
In July 2001, the company announced plans to downsize its fleet and workforce by half and change the route structure of the airline. In early 2002, the company began a "micro-hub" operation based in New York. At its high point in 2003 and 2004 the hub served 15 cities within the Northeast and Canada with a fleet of Beechcraft 1900s. Service was provided out of Boston's Logan International Airport to several Northeast cities. In January 2003, CommutAir announced an agreement with Continental to feed the latter's Cleveland, Ohio hub. Service commenced on March 16, 2003 serving Kalamazoo and Elmira, New York. Two cities were added the following month and by August 2003, CommutAir served 12 cities from the Cleveland hub. CommutAir leased sixteen Bombardier Q200 aircraft from Horizon Air in 2006; the following year, the Beech 1900s were phased out. On October 30, 2007, the company moved all remaining operations from Clinton County Airport, due to the closure of the airport. All operations were conducted out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
On October 2, 2008, the company began operations out of Newark Liberty International Airport, following Continental Airlines plan to adjust to the softening industry. Commutair's pilot group voted for union representation by the Air Line Pilots Association in 2008; that same year, Continental Airlines announced that it would cut more than 3,000 jobs. Subsequently, it was announced that some of CommutAir's flights would be eliminated as part of Continental's cutbacks. In 2011, United Airlines asked CommutAir to obtain five Bombardier Q300s. Two of the aircraft were allocated to Cleveland services and three aircraft were allocated to Newark services. In 2012, CommutAir opened a hub at Washington-Dulles International Airport. In July 2014, CommutAir closed its pilot base in Cleveland Hopkins International Airport after United Airlines withdrew its Cleveland hub. CommutAir closed its Cleveland maintenance base, replaced it with a new maintenance base in Albany, New York. On November 9, 2015, CommutAir announced that it has reached an agreement with United Airlines to increase the number of airplanes flown under the United Express brand by adding Embraer E145 jet operations to the company's existing fleet of Bombardier turbo-prop aircraft.
July 2016, CommutAir begins commercial service with its inaugural flight on the ERJ-145XR jet from Washington, DC to Columbia, SC. In September 2017, the Q300 was phased out and in January 2018, the Q200 was phased out, marking the end of turbo-prop operations. Newark, New Jersey - Newark Liberty International Airport Washington, D. C. - Washington Dulles International Airport Albany, New York - Albany International Airport. This is CommutAir's main maintenance base; the airline has had a maintenance base in Albany since 2014 and the base has expanded since then. Newark, New Jersey - Newark Liberty International Airport Washington, D. C. - Washington Dulles International Airport As of October 2018, the CommutAir fleet includes the following aircraft: As of January 2018, CommutAir average fleet age was 13.0 years old. The CommutAir fleet was once composed of Beechcraft 1900D aircraft, operated for US Airways Express and for Continental Connection. CommutAir operated the final turboprop flight for United Express on Sunday, January 7, 2018.
This flight, UCA4909/C54909 between Syracuse Airport and Dulles Airport was operated by tail number N363PH. It marked the end of an era for both United Express; the Bombardier Q200 was subsequently ferried to Roswell International Air Center for retirement. Beechcraft 1900C Beechcraft 1900D Bombardier Q200 Bombardier Q300 CommutAir Flight 4821, a Beechcraft 1900 operating for USAir Express was flying from Plattsburgh, New York to Newark, New Jersey, with stops in Saranac Lake and Albany in New York. On January 3, 1992 the aircraft crashed into a wooded mountaintop as it was landing at Adirondack Regional Airport. Of the four people on board, two were killed. Shortly before the crash occurred, the aircraft had contacted Commutair officials on the ground at Lake Clear Airport; the aircraft was new and the crew was experienced. Following the accident, there was no clear cause. Of the deceased, one was 23-year-old copilot Dean Montana, one was an off-duty employee; the aircraft was not required to be equipped with a flight data recorder, therefore a flight data recorder was not present.
The cockpit voice recorder was burned to the point. The National Transportation Safety Board used aircraft position data from air traffic control, the aircraft wreckage, survivor interviews, weather informat