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Mesa to Wind Down Operations with American Airlines

Mesa to Shift Attentions to United Airlines, Shake Up Operations Seeking Profitability

Mesa Air Group has announced plans for a restructuring of its operations between American Airlines and United Airlines, due to "unprofitable operations" with the former.

Mesa said the change was "driven primarily by higher pilot wages and block hour utilization penalties driven by the ongoing industry wide pilot shortage", with the American wind-down being a consensual change. Mesa is finalizing a new 5-year agreement with United Airlines to place the associated aircraft into United Express operations, compensate Mesa for higher RJ costs, and cover all Mesa's existing flying at American. The agreement could increase to 38 CRJ-900 aircraft, depending on the level of E-175 activity undergone by Mesa. 

Operations between Mesa and American will cease on April 3, 2023. The agreement with United is expected to result in placement of Mesa aircraft with the airline some time in March 2023, with all Mesa locations currently operated for American in Phoenix, Dallas, El Paso, and Louisville expected to remain. The new agreement could also provide Mesa a new CRJ-900 crew base in Houston, Texas, as well as a pilot base in Denver, Colorado. 

“I’d like to thank our long-time friends at American Airlines,” said Jonathan Ornstein, Mesa Chairman and CEO. “Our relationship with American began in 1992 when Mesa initiated flying as a codeshare partner with America West after investing in its reorganization. Over the last 30 years, we’ve been through a lot together and we will always appreciate the opportunity to work as America West Express, US Air Express, and American Eagle.”

“Once finalized, our expanded agreement with United is expected to both solidify our operations and, in conjunction with our amended agreements with key stakeholders, significantly improve our financial position. Most importantly, after years of reduction in service to smaller and rural communities, this agreement will help turn the tide and is expected to add over 100 regional jet flights into the United network,” Ornstein continued.

“This will be a win-win for both companies and will provide a more financially stable and focused enterprise for our shareholders and employees. This new agreement would allow us to transition to higher revenue-per-block hour operations and create more opportunities and job security for our people. Importantly, current and future pilots at Mesa will benefit from the anticipated new agreement with United, which is poised to offer the best combination of the highest pay rates and fastest career path to a major airline in the industry. I’d like to thank our employees and our ALPA and AFA labor union leadership whose hard work and dedication has been and will continue to be the core of Mesa’s success.”



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