MIAMI – US regional carrier ExpressJet (EV) has announced that it will cease its operations by the end of September. The decision unsurprisingly comes as the result of the ongoing pandemic and uncertainty in passenger demand for travel.
In its statement, EV said that United Airlines (UA) asked it to wind-down flying in July 2020. By that time, UA had chosen CommutAir as its sole Embraer ERJ145 operator.
As a result, UA then ended its contract with EV as a United Express carrier. This left EV’s all-ERJ145 fleet with 101 aircraft and 33 more on order.
According to EV CEO Subodh Karnik, the current uncertainty will impact the schedule beyond October. Thus, it would be “extremely difficult to maintain any semblance of schedule integrity during this period.”
On the same date of the cease of its operations, the domestic carrier will furlough most of its workforce. This is due to the CARES Act payroll support funding ending on the same day.
In contrast, EV will only keep limited staff related to the winding-down of operations and the review of future business opportunities.
At the time of its filing with the Department of Transportation in June, EV employed about 2,500 people. It received US$110m with the condition that it would not implement any involuntary leaves prior to September 30.
While July marked the end of an era for EV, September will mark a major blow from COVID-19; the former United Express operator is the first US airline to close due to pandemic.
Featured photo: ExpressJet Embraer ERJ-145. Photo:Jetphotos.