MIAMI – This evening, United Airlines (UA) announced that it would be cutting its contract with ExpressJet Airlines (EV) for their services as a United Express carrier. This comes in response to the decimated passenger demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ExpressJet employed roughly 3,000 people and flew the largest fleet of ERJ-145 aircraft in the world with 95 of the type, and 36 more that were in the process of being transferred from the now-defunct Trans States Airlines. UA held a minority ownership stake in the company.
Consolidation of UAX Flying
During all the uncertainty within the industry amid the fallout of the pandemic, UA made the strategic decision to consolidate the UAX ERJ-145 operation to one airline.
EV and Commutair (C5) were the two operators of the type, with both carrier’s entire fleets consisting of that airplane.
United chose to consolidate all ERJ-145 flying to C5, leaving EV out of options in terms of generating any sort of revenue. In a company statement, EV said that it “presented a solid business plan, with very attractive costs” to UA. Unfortunately, it did not make the cut.
Shutdown of Operations Plan
ExpressJet Chairman and CEO Subodh Karnik said the following:
“In the coming days, we will work with United to develop a workplan for the phased wind-down of our operations. The transition will take a number of months, and we’ll be sure to provide updates along the way.”
“That workplan will include the timeline, information relating to specific work groups, and details regarding your pay and benefits. As soon as that information becomes available, we will share it with you.”
There is no firm date as to when the EV operations will be officially transferred to C5.