ATLANTA — Regional airline ExpressJet will soon end flights for Delta Connection as the airline makes several strategic changes to better position itself for the future.
The announcement will lead to some major changes at ExpressJet. As the carrier shuts down its Atlanta flight operations, they will likely shut down its CRJ maintenance facility located on the airport property. In addition to the hangar, Expressjet is also headquartered and has their OCC located at the Atlanta Airport.
The following changes will be made at the airline:
- Long-term agreement secured with United Airlines. As part of this plan, ExpressJet has secured a new, five-year extension of its United Airlines ERJ145 contract, effective Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2022. The new agreement enhances ExpressJet’s United partnership and provides long-term stability to its model. It also provides ExpressJet pilots with continued access to United’s Career Pathway Program. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
- Early termination of Delta CPA. Additionally, ExpressJet and Delta Air Lines mutually agreed to initiate the wind-down of its remaining dual-class flying agreement under the Delta Connection brand, allowing ExpressJet opportunities to place aircraft with other partners. The agreement, which includes 28 CRJ900s and 33 CRJ700s, was previously scheduled to expire beginning in 2019. The aircraft financed by Delta, including all CRJ900s, will be returned to Delta beginning in fourth quarter 2017; ExpressJet expects to transition other aircraft previously operated under its Delta agreement to other major partners throughout 2018.
- Agreement with American for eight additional CRJ700s. As part of this realignment, ExpressJet has secured an agreement with American Airlines to transition eight additional CRJ700s to its American Eagle operation. That transition is expected to take place during second quarter 2018.
Airways has obtained an internal memo sent to members of ExpressJet in-flight team. The memo states the following:
Earlier this year, Endeavor Air announced that it would take over most CRJ-200 flights in Atlanta for Delta Connection. Many saw this as the beginning of the end for ExpressJet and Delta.
ExpressJet operates a fleet of 228 jet aircraft for United Express, American Eagle, and Delta Connection. The airline operates 61 of the larger CRJ-700 and CRJ-900 aircraft for Delta Connection.