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Mesa Airlines News

This news is updated by a pilot that actually works for Mesa Airlines

Crew Domiciles: PHX, CLT, ORD, IAD, HNL, OGG, KOA

Number of Pilots: 709

Number of Aircraft: 63

Type of Aircraft: CRJ-200 (5)
EMB-145 (0)
CRJ-700 (20)
DHC-8-202 (0)
CRJ-900 (38)

Most Junior Captain Hire Date: May 24, 2004

Mesa Air Group operates under two subsidiary certificates: Mesa Airlines and go!.  Mesa Airlines flies as United Express (ORD, IAD) and US Airways Express (PHX, CLT), while go! flies interisland in Hawaii (HNL, OGG, KOA, ITO, LIH).

Mesa pilots are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and are currently flying under their third Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The current agreement became amendable on 12/10/10.  Negotiations have thus far resulted in agreement on eleven non-economic sections of the CBA, which have been put into effect as part of a grievance settlement.  Negotions are ongoing.

Mesa's aircraft by domicile include:  CRJ-200 (Hawaii), CRJ-700 (ORD, IAD), CRJ-900 (PHX, CLT).  Aircraft fleet size has largely stabilized now that Mesa has rejected excess aircraft during bankruptcy and drawdowns in the US Airways system are complete.  Listed fleet totals reflect aircraft currently operating in revenue service.  DHC-8 operations ceased on June 30th when the last three aircraft were removed from service.

United Express flying consists of 20 CRJ-700s split between ORD and IAD, which have historically been Mesa's junior mainland bases.  This contract extends through 2015, with aircraft scheduled to be withdrawn at the rate of five per year commencing in 2012.

US Airways slowly drew down CRJ-200s as permitted in its code-share agreement until 50-seat service ended on June 30th.  38 CRJ-900s for US Airways are about evenly split between PHX and CLT, which are the senior bases system-wide.  As part of its bankruptcy (ended Feb 2011), Mesa reached an agreement with US Airways to extend their contract to Sep 2015, in return for which US Airways was granted 10% ownership of Mesa.

The Hawaii-based go! operation consists of five CRJ-200s with the following domiciles:  Honolulu (HNL, Oahu), Kahului (OGG, Maui) and Kona (KOA, Hawaii).  Flying is hub-and-spoke from HNL and also includes service to Hilo (ITO, Hawaii).

Mesa's pilot group comprises approximately 700 in active service, with 143 on furlough.  Recalls were halted in May 2012 and there has been no word on their resumption.

With its bankruptcy concluded, Mesa faces several major issues going forward: Section 6 contract negotiations with its pilot group; substantial and increasing attrition, and the associated furlough recall training; and, most critically, developing additional business beyond the new expiration of the US Airways and United contracts.  Absent any new (or renewed) business, Mesa will begin to wind down in the final years of the US Airways and United agreements, and cease to operate at their conclusion.  Almost no one expects a renewal from United for the CRJ-700 flying.

At a recent town-hall meeting, it was revealed that Mesa has approximately $25M in available cash, with $116M in non-deferable engine maintenance coming on its CRJ-700 and -900 fleets ($2M for each of 58 aircraft).  This maintenance will begin coming due in 2013, at which time management plans to begin parking aircraft unless Mesa receives extensions from its current partners, or finds new work.