The end of the line for Chautauqua Airlines, aircraft, personnel and operations shifted to Shuttle America
Chautauqua Airlines (Indianapolis), as planned, ended operations yesterday at midnight (December 31). The Embraer ERJ 145s, operated as a Delta Connection carrier, were shifted to sister airline Shuttle America (Indianapolis) starting today (January 1).
The aircraft will now operate under the “Mercury” call-sign. The certificate is currently retained by parent company, Republic Airways Holdings, and is being considered for sale to an undisclosed company. Chautauqua aircraft and employees have been transferred to the new certificate.
Chautauqua Airlines was established on May 3, 1973 in Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York (hence the name) and started operations on August 1, 1974 using two 15-passenger Beechcraft 99 aircraft.
Chautauqua Airlines has also operated as American West Express, American Connection, Continental Express, Frontier Airlines (2nd), Midwest Connect, Trans World Express, United Express, US Airways Express and USAir Express.
The ERJ 145s are being phased out from the Delta Connection contract agreement. Previously on December 11, 2014 parent Republic Airways Holdings Inc. announced it had reached an amendment to its Capacity Purchase Agreement with Delta Air Lines to operate nine additional 69-seat ERJ 170 aircraft. The aircraft are scheduled to be placed into service between the 3rd quarter of 2015 and the 2nd quarter of 2016 and will operate for a term of six years per aircraft. In addition, the Company and Delta have agreed to extend the term of the agreement for the existing 14 ERJ 170 aircraft by four years, or through October 2021, and the existing 16 ERJ 175 aircraft by approximately five years, or through February 2024.
The nine additional ERJ 170 aircraft will either be sourced internally by the Company or with used aircraft available in the open market.
Copyright Photo: Chautauqua Airlines started operations in 1974 as an Allegheny Commuter airline from Chautauqua County in western New York State.
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America. The group is consolidating operations in order to reduce costs.
CEO Bryan Bedford issued a short statement to the employees of the group concerning the closure of Chautauqua Airlines before the end of the year. The group intends to consolidate the Chautuaqua Embraer ERJ operations into the Shuttle America operating certificate. Chautauqua will be shut down.
Chautauqua Airlines was established on May 3, 1973, in Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York State and began operations on August 1, 1974 using two 15-passenger Beech 99 aircraft. It was one of earliest Allegheny Commuter carriers. It became an USAir Express (later US Airways Express) carrier in 1979.
Besides the Allegheny/USAir/US Airways lineage, Chautauqua has operated under the America West Express, American Connection, Continental Express, Frontier Airlines (2nd), Midwest Connect, Trans World Express and United Express brands.
Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. SAAB 340A N125CH (msn 125) displays 1976 Allegheny Commuter livery.
Chautauqua to phase out its Embraer ERJ 140s, parent Republic will not cancel its Bombardier CSeries order
Chautauqua Airlines (Indianapolis) is phasing out its Embraer ERJ 140 regional jets it operates for American Airlines. According to ch-aviation, the company will operate the last ERJ 140 flight for AA on August 18. Pilots are being switched to the new Embraer 175s which will be operate under the American Eagle brand.
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America. The airlines operate a combined fleet of about 250 aircraft and offer scheduled passenger service on about 1,300 flights daily to about 100 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas through fixed-fee flights operated under our major airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express.
In other news, Republic Airways Holdings CEO Bryan Bedford has stated the company has no intention of canceling its order for the new, but delayed, Bombardier CSeries aircraft. Republic has 40 CS300s on order. Republic has made the decision to phase out its 50-seat aircraft and will concentrate on the Embraer 170 and 175 series of aircraft and the Bombardier Q400 besides the the CS300s on order according to this interview in the Financial Post.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 140LR (EMB-1135KL) N376SK (msn 145578) arrives in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Route Map of the Republic Airways’ airlines:
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) reported financial results for the first quarter of 2014. Key points include:
Republic’s pre-tax income from continuing operations was $22.8 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, an 18.1% increase over the March 2013 quarter. As of Dec. 31, 2013, Republic had a significant amount of federal net operating loss carry forwards and does not anticipate paying significant federal taxes for the next several years.
Republic’s net income for the March 2014 quarter was $14.0 million, or $0.26 per diluted share. This is a $13.7 million increase from the prior year. The March 2013 quarter was negatively impacted by $11.1 million of losses from discontinued operations at Frontier Airlines.
Republic canceled more than 12,400 flights during the first quarter of 2014, primarily because of severe weather in January and February of 2014. That was a 145% increase from the number of canceled flights compared to the first quarter of 2013. These cancellations negatively impacted the pre-tax financial results by about $7.0 million during the first quarter of 2014.
On February 11, 2014, Republic announced the early termination of its 44 to 50 seat fixed-fee agreements with United Airlines and American Airlines, which were scheduled to terminate in 2014. These agreements wind-down beginning in March 2014 through August 2014 and will result in the indefinite grounding of 27 small jet aircraft.
In the first quarter of 2014, Republic recorded an impairment of its owned Embraer ERJ 140 aircraft of $19.9 million and an $18.4 million gain on its Chautauqua restructuring asset. The Company also sold one Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft for a book gain of $1.8 million during the quarter. The net of these three items improved pre-tax earnings by $0.3 million.
On April 4, 2014, Republic announced that members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 357 failed to ratify a proposed four-year pilot labor agreement. The agreement would have significantly improved pay and work rules for our pilots.
On April 7, 2014, Republic’s Board of Directors authorized management to utilize up to $75 million of unrestricted cash to buy back common shares and/or early retire convertible debt during the next 12 months. Under the $75 million authorization, Republic may repurchase up to $50 million of common shares and early retire up to $50 million of convertible notes, or any combination thereof.
On April 7, 2014, Republic redeemed a $22.3 million convertible note, leaving $52.7 million remaining on the share repurchase and convertible debt retirement authorization. This will reduce the Company’s dilutive share count by about 2.2 million shares going forward.
“I am pleased we were able to report improved first quarter financial results despite the most severe weather events in a single quarter I can recall in my 27 years of experience in the airline industry. Our results demonstrate the stability and strength within our core fixed-fee business,” said Republic Airways Holdings Chairman, President and CEO Bryan Bedford. “We are committed to our guiding principles and strengthening our brand reliability and product quality for our partners, shareholders and employees,” Bedford said.
Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-100SU N806MD (msn 170000019), as a spare aircraft, completes its Republic Airlines (2nd) flight into Charlotte.
Combined Route Map:
Republic Airways Holdings‘ (Indianapolis) over 2,200 pilots of subsidiaries Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America have rejected by a 85-15 percent vote the tentative agreement with management.
According to ALPA, “While their Tentative Agreement contained some substantial contract improvements, including pay increases, it did not meet their pilots’ demands. After 7 years of negotiations, the pilots clearly felt that they deserved pay and benefits commensurate with their positions as professional air line pilots and the value they bring to the company. Also of note is that the negotiated TA only touched four areas of the contract and did not address many areas of pilot interest.”
In addition, Teamsters Local 357 Executive Board issued this statement to the pilots: “In rejecting the TA, the pilot group has stated clearly its demand that Republic must do better in establishing acceptable terms for a new agreement. The Company cannot ignore the pilots’ demands without risking the continued deterioration of its operation which drove it back to the bargaining table last year.”
In return, the company, Republic Airways Holdings issued this statement:
Republic Airways Holdings announced on April 4 that members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 357 failed to ratify a proposed four-year pilot labor agreement.
IBT Local 357 represents more than 2,200 pilots for Republic’s sister companies Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.
“We are extremely disappointed that the union’s membership failed to ratify the tentative agreement that was reached in mid-February. At a time when other regional airlines have been negotiating concessionary agreements for their pilots, we were able to reach an industry-leading contract that significantly improved pay and work rules for our pilots to vote upon,” said Republic Airways Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Wayne Heller. “Despite the outcome of this vote, Republic remains committed to providing the safest, most reliable flight service for our legacy airline partners.”
The proposed contract included increases in pay that would have placed Republic pilots at or near the top of its regional airline peers. It also included improvements in quality of life enhancements and more flexibility in scheduling, as well as a significant signing bonus if it had been ratified.
Republic Airways Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Bryan Bedford said, “I am disappointed with the results of the IBT Pilot vote as I believe that the Tentative Agreement we reached with the IBT was in the best interest of our Pilots and an important step forward for our Company. We will work with the IBT to determine our next steps.”
Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, collectively “the airlines.” The airlines operate a combined fleet of about 250 aircraft and offer scheduled passenger service on over 1,350 flights daily to about 110 cities in the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas through fixed-fee flights operated under our major airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ about 6,300 aviation professionals.
As a result, Republic has delayed a decision on its order for 40 Bombardier CSeries aircraft. The order is not cancelled but it is pending according to Bedford after this vote.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. Formerly operated in Frontier Airlines colors, Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N163HQ (msn 19000255) is now painted in the Republic Airways house colors and operated by Republic Airlines (2nd).
The combined route map of Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America:
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) and the Teamsters Airline Division have announced they have reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract. The more than 2,200 pilots of Republic are represented by Teamsters Local 357 in Plainfield, Indiana and fly for the Republic’s subsidiaries, namely Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America.
The tentative agreement includes increases in pay that will place Republic pilots at or near the top of its regional airline peers. It also includes improvements in work rules, quality of life enhancements and more flexibility in scheduling as well as a significant signing bonus if ratified.
Bryan Bedford, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Republic Airways offered comment in a press release today.
“At a time when many of our competitors are moving in the opposite direction on pilot compensation, we are thrilled that Republic is able to significantly improve the wages and benefits of the more than 2,200 women and men who safely fly more than 1,300 daily scheduled flights for our major airline partners,” Bedford said.
“This TA reflects the dedication and hard work of the union and the company’s negotiating committees,” said Republic Airways Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Wayne Heller. “We thank the union representatives for their professionalism and commitment in reaching this agreement.”
The agreement will be presented to union members for review and a formal ratification vote, which is expected in March.
Copyright Photo: Keith Burton/AirlinersGallery.com. Shuttle America’s Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N202JQ (msn 17000240) operating as a Delta Connection carrier taxies at Boston’s Logan International Airport.
Republic Airways Holdings to ground 27 regional jets due to a pilot shortage, Bloomberg Businessweek takes a look at the issue
Bloomberg Businessweek has taken a look at how the pilot shortage issue is affecting small carriers and how the low pay issue is making it worse.
Related to this, Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis), which owns regional carriers Chautauqua Airlines and Republic Airlines (2nd), today stated in a federal filing that it is no longer seeking lease extensions for 27 of 41 Embraer 50-seat regional jets. The holding company cited a “significant reduction” in pilots who meet the new U.S. experience rules according to Reuters.
Republic added that it will retire 27 50-seat regional jets this year
Read the full Bloomberg Businessweek article: CLICK HERE
Read the report by Reuters: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/AirlinersGallery.com. Chautauqua Airlines’ Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N298SK (msn 145508) operating as an US Airways Express carrier departs from the Charlotte hub.
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) has announced that it has agreed to a 48-hour extension of exclusivity of the sale process for Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver).
“Indigo Partners informed us they have made good progress but have not been able to resolve all the conditions to close the transaction,” said Republic Airways Chairman, President and CEO Bryan Bedford. “They requested and we agreed to extend the deadline by 48 hours.”
Republic Airways Holdings is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.
Indigo Partners issued the following statement on the status of its pending acquisition of Frontier Airlines from Republic Airways Holdings:
“Indigo Partners has informed Republic Airways that its planned acquisition of Frontier Airlines will move forward. Major conditions, including agreements with FAPAInvest and Barclaycard are satisfied, as are other commercial and business arrangements. An agreement has not been reached with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA); however, Indigo has informed Republic that it will waive that condition. The transaction is expected to be finalized later this month, subject to receipt of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.”
William A. Franke, managing partner at Indigo Partners said, “We are pleased about the progress we have made to resolve major issues and move this acquisition toward closing. We look forward to completing the transaction and continuing to extend Frontier’s reach and service as a leading, nationwide ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC).”
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A319-111 N922FR (msn 2012) with the Red Fox exits the runway for the gate at Los Angeles International Airport.
Republic’s three flight attendants groups approve the new contract, may sell Frontier Airlines in the third quarter
Republic Airways Inc. (Republic Airways Holdings) (Indianapolis) has announced that flight attendants for its three regional carriers have approved a new five-year labor contract. The ratification vote concluded on July 29 with flight attendants from Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America voting in favor of the agreement.
The new contract includes increases in pay, improvements in quality of life and more flexibility in scheduling. The new agreement becomes amendable on July 29, 2018.
In other news, Republic has entered into a preliminary agreement with an undisclosed potential buyer of Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver). Should the deal be finalized, the sale could be closed in the third quarter according to CEO Bryan Bedford.
Read the full story from the Denver Post: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Set against the moon, Republic Airlines’ (2nd) Embraer ERJ 190-100 IGW N164HQ (msn 19000275) (Hummingbird) arrives at Toronto (Pearson). The 99-seat Republic ERJ 190s are expected to leave the Frontier contract in the third quarter of 2013.
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) has announced that it has reached a tentative agreement (TA) on a new five-year contract with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 135 Flight Attendants. Local 135 represents over 2,000 Flight Attendants for Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America.
The proposed contract includes increases in pay, improvements in quality of life and more flexibility in scheduling. The TA still must be presented to union members for review and a ratification vote, which is expected to be held in July.
Top Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com (please click on the photo for the full size view). Shuttle America’s Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N204JQ (msn 17000243) operating as a Delta Connection carrier arrives at Washington (Reagan National).
Bottom Copyright Photo: Jay Selman/AirlinersGallery.com. Shuttle America’s Embraer ERJ 170-100SE N639RW (msn 17000057) prepares to land at Charlotte while operating for United Airlines as an United Express carrier.
Combined Route Map (please click on the map for the full-size view):
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) today announced that it has reached an agreement with American Airlines to operate 53 Embraer ERJ 175 aircraft under the American Eagle brand. The Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) will be operated by the Company’s Republic Airlines (2nd) (Indianapolis) subsidiary, with service expected to start in June of 2013. The CPA is subject to approval by the Bankruptcy Court in the American Airlines bankruptcy proceedings.
Republic also signed an agreement with Embraer to purchase 47 new aircraft and lease a previously owned Embraer ERJ 175 jet aircraft, including the first deliveries of Embraer’s enhanced fuel performance aircraft. In addition, the Company will acquire five previously owned ERJ 175s from a third party.
The aircraft, which will seat 76 passengers in a two-class cabin, are expected to be phased into operation at approximately two to three aircraft per month beginning in mid-2013 through the first quarter of 2015. Each aircraft will operate under the CPA for 12 years from its in-service date, extending the term of the agreement into 2027.
Republic’s contract with Embraer also includes an option with delivery positions exercisable beginning in 2015, for the purchase of an additional 47 aircraft.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Wearing the Republic Airways house colors, Republic Airlines’ (2nd) Embraer ERJ 170-100SE N866RW (msn 17000129) prepares to land at Washington (Reagan National).
Subsidiary Chautauqua Airlines currently operates 15 Embraer ERJ 140 regional jets as an American Connection carrier. The ERJ 140s will be retired as well as the American Connection name.
Route Map for all of Republic Airways Holdings’ contract flying by all of its subsidiaries:
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) today issued the following statement concerning its subsidiary Chautauqua Airlines (Indianapolis):
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. today (October 31) announced it has reached agreements with several key stakeholders which, combined with other initiatives taken, including placing idled aircraft back into revenue service, will mitigate future negative cash flows at its Chautauqua Airlines subsidiary on average by approximately $45 million annually over the next five years.
“This is an important milestone in our Chautauqua restructuring effort,” said Bryan Bedford, chairman, president and CEO of Republic Airways. “These agreements take us about three-quarters of the way to our stated need of $60 million in average annual cash flow improvements at Chautauqua in order to stabilize and secure its future. We still have approximately two-thirds of our small jet fleet of 70 aircraft operating under capacity purchase agreements (CPAs) with less than two years remaining, so we are focused on ensuring both our labor productivity and long-term maintenance costs of these aircraft remain competitive.”
The Company also announced it has amended its CPA between Chautauqua Airlines and Delta Air Lines to provide for the operation of an additional seven Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft for a period of one year for each aircraft. All seven aircraft are expected to be placed into service with Delta before the end of 2012. Prior to the amendment, Chautauqua operated a total of twenty-four Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft under a CPA which continues through May 2016.
“The deployment of these seven aircraft, combined with our other recent CPA activity, means we will have placed all remaining idle 50-seat regional jet aircraft back into revenue service by the end of 2012. Ensuring our 50-seat aircraft remain active under agreements with our major airline partners is an important component of our Chautauqua restructuring effort,” said Bedford.
Meanwhile the Teamsters Local 357 issued this statement:
Pilots who fly for one of the nation’s largest regional airline companies say it’s not a lack of qualified pilots, but rather a lack of pay and respect that’s grounding airplanes and could cause a ripple effect in the nation’s air transportation system.
This week, Republic Airways Holdings announced that it would operate 27 fewer airplanes and expects to hire almost half the number of pilots anticipated in 2014 due a lack of candidates who meet new FAA rules mandating 1,500 hours of experience. However, the issues are more complex according to International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local No. 357 which represents the 3000+ pilots who fly for the Indianapolis-based airline.
“Regional carriers as a whole need to offer better pay and work rules to attract new pilots,” said Local 357 President Craig Moffatt. “The lack of a competitive contract here at Republic contributes to poor quality of life with sub-standard pay to boot. This, in turn, leads qualified pilots to look elsewhere.”
The current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or contract was ratified in 2003 and became amendable in October of 2007. Pilots are covered by the Railway Labor Act, so the contract does not expire. Negotiations began in April 2007 and entered mediation in 2011. Local 357 pilots have been without a contractual raise or an adjustment of work rules to reflect industry and economic changes for over six years—and counting.
Regional carriers are a key link in the nation’s air-transportation system. Approximately half of the nation’s domestic flights are outsourced to regional airlines rather than flown by a larger carrier. Republic Airways Holdings owns and operates Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America Airlines which in turn fly for American, United, Delta and US Airways.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N272SK (msn 145306) arrives at Baltimore/Washington.
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is planning to drop the New York (LaGuardia)-Philadelphia route on November 3 according to Airline Route. The route is currently operated with Embraer ERJ 135s and ERJ 145s.
Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N568RP (msn 145800) in the special 800th (Embraer) logo arrives at Baltimore/Washington.
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) is betting the AMR Corporation (Dallas/Fort Worth) will want to downsize the flying currently being performed by its subsidiary American Eagle Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth). Republic hopes to expand its now small regional fleet flying for American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) (currently by Chautauqua Airlines as American Connection) according to this article by Bloomberg Businessweek.
Read the full article: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Stephen Tornblom. Although the titles say “Republic Airways” (after the holding company), this Embraer ERJ 170-100SU N821MD (msn 17000042) is actually operated by subsidiary Republic Airlines (2nd) (Indianapolis).
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) reported a net loss of $7.1 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared to a net loss of $22.4 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for the same period last year.
Republic revenues decreased 4.5%, compared to the prior year’s first quarter on a 4.7% decrease in block hours. As of March 31, 2012, Republic operated 19 fewer 37-50 seat aircraft than a year ago, resulting in lower block hour production. Republic also redeployed 14 of 17 EJet aircraft that were flown on behalf of Frontier in 2011 back into fixed-fee service with Delta.
Income before taxes for Republic was $10.9 million for the quarter, compared to a pre-tax income of $3.1 million for the first quarter of 2011. The improvement in Republic’s first quarter result stems from a significant reduction in pro-rate flying and related losses that were incurred in the first quarter of 2011 on sub-99 seat aircraft operating on behalf of Frontier.
Fuel costs for Republic were $59.8 million for the quarter, a decrease of $15.8 million from the prior year’s first quarter. The price per gallon increased 7.8% from $3.09 to $3.33 for the quarter, but the increase in pricing was more than offset by the reduction in consumption associated with the significant reduction in pro-rate operations.
Cost per Available Seat Mile (CASM), including interest expense but excluding fuel, increased 4.5% to 8.44¢ for the first quarter of 2012, from 8.08¢ for the same quarter of 2011. The increase is a result of unassigned aircraft expenses, increased employee benefit costs and higher maintenance expenses.
As of March 31, 2012, Republic operated 56 aircraft with 44-50 seats and 126 aircraft with 69-80 seats under fixed-fee commercial agreements. Additionally, Republic operated three aircraft with 50 seats and 19 aircraft with 74-99 seats under pro-rate agreements with Frontier. Seventeen 37-76 seat aircraft were unassigned as of March 31, 2012. The Company recently entered into long-term, offshore agreements to sublease three of its E170 aircraft, which are expected to be delivered to the new lessee between June and September of 2012.
The Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) continues to be a drag for the holding company. However Frontier made improvements during this quarter. For the quarter ended March 31, 2012, Frontier posted a pre-tax loss of $21.6 million compared to a pre-tax loss of $39.0 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.
Frontier’s total revenues increased 19.2% to $342.4 million for the quarter, compared to $287.3 million for the same period in 2011. Capacity on Frontier, as measured by ASMs, was up 10.8% from the prior year’s first quarter, reflecting the year-over-year effect of the addition of A319 and A320 aircraft to the fleet during the first half of 2011. Load factor for the first quarter was a record 84.7%, and an increase of 4.1 points from the first quarter of 2011. Total revenue per ASM (TRASM) was 11.41¢, up 7.5% from the same quarter in 2011.
The operating unit cost for Frontier operations, excluding fuel, was 7.68¢ for the quarter, a 5.1% decrease compared to 8.09¢ for the same quarter of 2011, due primarily to an increase in average aircraft seat density and lower non-fuel expenses in the current quarter. Frontier’s unit cost for the first quarter of 2012 includes approximately 0.84¢ related to certain expenses associated with pro-rate operations between Republic and Frontier.
Under the Company’s arms-length pro-rate agreements, Republic is allocated an industry standard pro-rata portion of ticket revenue, while Frontier retains all connect revenues as well as ancillary revenues on regional flights. Frontier maintains certain rights to deploy the regional aircraft and maintains control of pricing and revenue management. Frontier also retains responsibility for all customer service expenses, including airport rents. Selling and distribution costs are shared between Republic and Frontier.
Fuel costs for Frontier were $131.9 million for the quarter, an increase of $26.8 million from the prior year’s first quarter. The fuel cost per gallon, including into-plane taxes and fees, increased 18.5% to $3.39 for the first quarter of 2012, compared to $2.86 for last year’s first quarter. The first quarter 2011 result included a gain on fuel hedges of $8.7 million, or $0.23 per gallon. There were no hedge positions for the first quarter of 2012.
As of March 31, 2012, Frontier operated a total of 60 Airbus aircraft. During the second-quarter of 2012, Frontier will be reconfiguring its fleet of 15 A320 aircraft (see above) to include six additional seats, increasing seat density from 162 to 168 seats. Frontier also plans to add one A320 aircraft during the second quarter of 2012, increasing its A320 operational fleet to 16 aircraft. Certain of Frontier’s aircraft operate under fixed-price, multi-year charter agreements. Revenues earned under these agreements are reported as other revenue in our consolidated statement of operations.
Republic’s total cash balance increased $25.8 million to $396.5 million as of March 31, 2012, compared to December 31, 2011. Restricted cash increased $67.6 million, to $219.0 million, from December 31, 2011. The Company’s unrestricted cash balance decreased $41.8 million, to $177.5 million, from December 31, 2011. A condensed cash flow statement has been provided in the tables section of this release.
Republic’s debt decreased to $2.31 billion as of March 31, 2012, compared to $2.36 billion at December 31, 2011. As of March 31, 2012, approximately 85% of the total debt is fixed-rate. The Company has significant long-term lease obligations for aircraft that are classified as operating leases and are not reflected as liabilities on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet. At a 6.0% discount factor, the present value of these lease obligations was approximately $1.15 billion as of March 31, 2012. A condensed balance sheet as of March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011 has been provided in the tables section of this release.
Republic has engaged Seabury Advisors to assist the company in a comprehensive restructuring effort for the Chautauqua Airlines subsidiary, which operates our small regional jets (see below).
Republic Airways Holdings is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.
Top Copyright Photo: Luimer Cordero.
Frontier Slide Show: CLICK HERE
US Airways Express-Chautauqua Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Bottom Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Chautauqua’s future is somewhat murky pending recommendations for its future from Seabury.
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) is an airline holding company that owns Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines (2nd), Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America. The Company in the fourth quarter (ending on December 31, 2011) on a GAAP basis, reported a net loss of $123.5 million, or $2.55 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $1.3 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the same period last year. On an ex-item basis, the Company is reporting net income of $17.0 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, compared to an ex-item net income of $7.4 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, for the three month periods ended Dec. 31, 2011 and 2010, respectively.
For the full year 2011, the Company reported revenues of $2.86 billion, compared to $2.65 billion for 2010. On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a net loss for 2011 of $151.8 million, or $3.14 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $13.8 million, or $0.38 per diluted share for the full year 2010.
For the fourth quarter, the Company reported operating revenues of $697.8 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, an increase of 7.4%, compared to $649.8 million for the same period last year. The increase in revenues is primarily due to an 11.0% increase in Frontier Airlines’ unit revenues.
During the quarter, the Company recorded an impairment charge of $191.1 million to reduce the carrying value of certain assets, mainly its 42 owned 37-50 seat aircraft. The Company also recorded non-cash charges of approximately $24.1 million related to the expected return of four leased A319 aircraft in 2012 and approximately $9.0 million related to the renegotiation of its ERJ 190 purchase order and the expected return of certain leased Embraer aircraft in 2012.
As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated 56 aircraft with 44-50 seats and 126 aircraft with 69-80 seats under our fixed-fee commercial agreements. Two 50-seat aircraft that were supporting our fixed-fee agreements as spares during the peak summer months were reallocated to charter operations during the fourth quarter.
The Company’s branded business segment includes all operations flown as Frontier Airlines and Frontier Express. Total branded revenues increased 8.9% to $422.4 million for the quarter, compared to $387.9 million for the same period in 2010. Capacity on Frontier, as measured by ASMs, was down 1.9% from the prior year’s fourth quarter. Load factor for the fourth quarter was a record 86.8%, an increase of 5.6 points from the fourth quarter of 2010. Total revenue per ASM (TRASM) was 11.90¢, up 11.0% from the same quarter in 2010. For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, our branded business posted ex-item pre-tax income of $7.8 million compared to a loss of $11.2 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010.
The operating unit cost for branded operations, excluding fuel and impairments, was 7.93¢ for the quarter. However, excluding integration and fleet transition expenses of $40.1 million, or 1.13¢ per ASM, the unit cost was 6.80¢ for the fourth quarter of 2011.
Fuel costs for branded operations were $164.4 million for the quarter. The fuel cost per gallon, including into-plane taxes and fees, increased 27.3% to $3.22 for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to $2.53 for the prior year’s fourth quarter. The fourth quarter 2011 result includes a gain on fuel hedges of $3.5 million, or $0.07 per gallon. The Company realized gains of $1.5 million, or $0.03 per gallon for hedges that were settled during the quarter. The Company currently has no hedge positions for 2012.
The Company’s Other business segment includes revenues from aircraft subleases, license fees on airport slots and expenses associated with those activities, as well as any unassigned aircraft expenses. The Company reported ex-item pre-tax loss of $2.2 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a pre-tax income of $1.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2010.
During the fourth quarter, the Company sold airport slots for a total of $47.5 million and recorded a gain on the sale of approximately $2.4 million, which is reflected in the Other segment.
As of Dec. 31, 2011, the Company has a total of 25 aircraft included in its Other segment that are not reflected as operating aircraft in the branded or fixed-fee operating highlights tables in this release. This includes 11 ERJ 145 aircraft that are being subleased offshore, eleven 37-50 seat aircraft that are being utilized for charter operations or are temporarily parked, and two Q400 aircraft and one ERJ 170 aircraft that are temporarily parked. During the quarter, the Company incurred approximately $2.7 million of expenses in its Other segment for aircraft that are temporarily parked. The Company is attempting to sell, place into fixed-fee service or otherwise sublease aircraft that are excess to its projected operating needs.
Total revenues for the year for Frontier were $1.76 billion, up 10.0% from the 2010 result of $1.60 billion on 1.1% fewer ASMs. Load factor was a record 85.8% for the year, up more than three points from the 2010 result, and TRASM was 11.74¢, up more than 11% from the 2010 result. Excluding items, Frontier reported a pre-tax loss of $70.4 million in 2011, compared to a pre-tax loss of $29.8 million in 2010.
Frontier fuel costs were approximately $718 million for the year, up 31%, or approximately $170 million from the 2010 level, on 8.1% fewer block hours. The fuel cost per gallon, including into-plane taxes and fees, was $3.25 for the year, up 35.4% from the 2010 level of $2.40.
The Company’s total operational fleet increased from September 30, 2011, by two aircraft, to 281 aircraft, as of December 31, 2011. The Company purchased two ERJ 190 aircraft and leased one A320 aircraft during the fourth quarter of 2011. These aircraft were placed into branded operations during the quarter. The Company also sold one Q400 aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The Company’s total cash balance decreased $59.6 million to $370.7 million as of Dec. 31, 2011, compared to Dec. 31, 2010. Restricted cash increased $12.3 million, to $151.4 million, from Dec. 31, 2010. The Company’s unrestricted cash balance decreased $71.9 million, to $219.3 million, from Dec. 31, 2010. A condensed cash flow statement for the years ended Dec. 31, 2011 and 2010 has been provided in the tables section of this release.
The Company’s debt decreased to $2.36 billion as of Dec. 31, 2011, compared to $2.58 billion at Dec. 31, 2010. As of Dec. 31, 2011, approximately 85% of the total debt is fixed-rate. The Company has significant long-term lease obligations for aircraft that are classified as operating leases and are not reflected as liabilities on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet. At a 6.0% discount factor, the present value of these lease obligations was approximately $1.20 billion as of Dec. 31, 2011.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.
Frontier Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) is downsizing the Milwaukee hub as we previously reported. The downsizing will now affect 213 positions at MKE effective November 14.
Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE
Frontier-Chautauqua Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Please click on the photo for additional information.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) will drop Manistee, MI and the Milwaukee-Manistee route on March 8, 2012. Frontier launched the new route in April and is operated with Chautauqua Airlines Embraer ERJ 145 regional jets.
Read the full report from Mlive.com: CLICK HERE
Republic-Chautauqua Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Please click on the photo for additional information.
Chautauqua Airlines (Indianapolis) has announced to its employees it will suspend nonstop Frontier Airlines branded service from the shrinking Milwaukee hub to six destinations effective on November 1. The company will reduce its daily departures at MKE from 67 to 45 and ground its six ERJ 145s operated in Frontier colors. Five of the six removed aircraft will be re-deployed in temporary charter service from November through March 2012. The new schedule also includes service reductions in Kansas City from 26 daily departures to 20 and suspension of the Kansas City-Minneapolis/St. Paul service.
Frontier-Chautauqua Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Chautauqua and its parent Republic Airways Holdings have not yet publicly commented on these reductions.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Please click on the photo for additional details.
Frontier Route Map:
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) has announced plans to add nonstop seasonal service between Branson, MO (BKG) and both Austin, Texas (AUS) and Phoenix (PHX) to its route map. The carrier will be the only airline offering nonstop service on these new routes.
Branson-Austin service will operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday from September 16 through December 14, 2011. Branson-Phoenix service will operate Saturdays from September 17 through December 10, 2011. Austin service will be operated by 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145 regional jet aircraft operated by Chautauqua Airlines. The Phoenix service will be operated with 138-seat Airbus 319 aircraft operated by Frontier.
Branson is recent years has become a growing tourist destination in the Ozark Mountains. Local attractions include The Hollywood Wax Museum, Silver Dollar City, White Water, Waltzing Waters, Mount Pleasant Winery, Stone Hill Winery, Ride The Ducks, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, The Haunted House and Monster Asylum, Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure, Predator World and Branson Landing. Ripley’s Odditorium in Branson is housed in a building that has been made to look as if it is cracked wide open by an earthquake or other disaster.
Branson Landing opened in the summer of 2006 on the Lake Taneycomo waterfront in downtown Branson. The lakefront project includes retail space with Bass Pro Shops and Hudson Belk as anchors in an outdoor shopping mall of stores and restaurants. The new Branson Convention Center, which is situated between the Landing and Historic Downtown Branson, opened September 7, 2007. Two animal attractions are Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure, a palace filled with thousands of flying butterflies in a mystical rainforest maze; and Wings of the World, a home to many birds of the world.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Please click on the photo for aircraft information.
Frontier Slide Show: CLICK HERE
Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) yesterday (June 6) started daily nonstop Delta Connection service between Austin and Kansas City. The new service is currently operated by 50-seat Chautauqua Airlines Embraer ERJ 145 regional jets.
Copyright Photo: Joe Fernandez/Air 72. The first flight received the traditional water salute at Austin.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) will resume seasonal nonstop service between its Milwaukee hub and Branson, MO with three weekly roundtrips beginning on July 1, 2011, through December 14, 2011.
Frontier first launched its seasonal service between Milwaukee and Branson in the summer of 2010. Frontier also operates nonstop service between Branson and its Denver International Airport (DEN) hub with a year-round schedule.
The Milwaukee-Branson route will be operated for Frontier with Embraer ERJ 145 regional jets operated by sister airline Chautauqua Airlines.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck. Please click on photo for additional information.
Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) announced it will begin new service to Ironwood, MI (IWD), Manistee, MI (MBL), and Rhinelander, WI (RHI) from its Milwaukee hub beginning on April 18, 2011. These routes will be operated by Chautauqua Airlines’ 37-seat Embraer ERJ 135 regional jet aircraft.
The addition of these new markets will bring the number of destinations Frontier serves in both Michigan and Wisconsin to five.
Copyright Photo: Tony Storck.
Republic Airways Holdings Inc. (Indianapolis) reported operating revenues of $711.9 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2010, a 97.9% increase, compared to $359.6 million for the same period last year. The increase in revenues is primarily due to the acquisition of Frontier Airlines (2nd) and Midwest Airlines during 2009. The Company also reported net income of $21.3 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, for the quarter ended September 30, 2010, compared to $3.3 million of net income, or $0.09 per diluted share, for the same period last year. The diluted share count for the third quarter of 2010 includes 2.5 million shares for the $25 million of convertible debt at the Company, which decreases earnings per share by $0.04.
During the third quarter of 2010, the Company’s GAAP pre-tax income of $35.1 million was negatively impacted by a total of $7.8 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, of items: $4.7 million of expenses related to the integration of the branded business; $2.9 million of disposal costs for A318 and DHC-8-400 (Q400) aircraft; and $0.2 million in negative adjustments for fuel hedges.
Excluding the dilutive effect of the convertible debt ($0.04) and the negative impact on earnings of the integration expense items during the quarter ($0.14), the Company is reporting earnings per share of $0.76 for the third quarter of 2010.
The Company’s “Branded” business segment includes all operations at Frontier Airlines (2nd), Lynx Airlines, and Midwest Airlines, collectively referred to as “Frontier”. Total revenues on Frontier were $445.8 million for the quarter. Load factor was 87.4% for the quarter and total revenue per ASM (TRASM) was 11.15¢. Frontier posted income before taxes of $11.6 million for the third quarter. However, excluding the items outlined in the table above, Frontier produced a pre-tax profit of $19.4 million for the third quarter. Operating cost per ASM (CASM), excluding fuel, was 7.17¢ for the third quarter of 2010. Excluding integration and aircraft return expenses, the unit cost for Frontier, excluding fuel, was 6.98¢ for the quarter.
During the quarter the Company removed three Airbus A318 aircraft, one Bombardier DHC-8-400 (Q400) aircraft, and one Embraer ERJ 170 aircraft from service. The total operational fleet was 277 aircraft as of September 30, 2010 compared to 282 aircraft as of June 30, 2010.
On July 1, 2010, the Company announced that it would remove four 120-seat A318 aircraft and one 76-seat E170 aircraft from scheduled service for Frontier in September 2010. Three of these aircraft have been sold to third parties and two were returned to their lessors. Beginning in January 2011, Frontier will accept the first of seven new 162-seat A320 aircraft. All seven aircraft have firm lease financing arranged and will be delivered during the first two quarters of 2011. The Company will also be leasing three additional 136-seat A319 aircraft that are scheduled for delivery between February and April 2011.
On July 21, 2010, the Company announced it had signed a non-binding letter of intent with Embraer to acquire 24 ERJ 190 or ERJ 195 aircraft with deliveries beginning in the mid 2011. On November 5, 2010, the Company announced it had placed a firm order for 6 E190 aircraft with Embraer for delivery in 2011 starting in August. The Company also has conditional firm orders for 18 E190 or E195 aircraft. Both aircraft types would be configured with STRETCH seating. These aircraft will be used to replace smaller regional jets in the Company as well as provide flexibility for growth at Frontier through 2013.
All ERJ 170 aircraft operating for Frontier will be reconfigured with STRETCH seating by November 30, 2010, enabling its guests to take advantage of 5 extra inches of legroom. Also, all 32 E-Jet aircraft operating for Frontier will have Gogo WiFi installed by the end of 2010.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Please click on the photo for additional information.
Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee) launched today (April 1) branded twice-daily Raleigh/Durham service on 76-seat Embraer ERJ 170 aircraft operated by Republic Airlines (2nd). The St. Louis service, which will include two daily roundtrip flights, will be provided on 37-seat Embraer ERJ 135 regional jet aircraft operated by Chautauqua Airlines.
Midwest Airlines is no longer an airline, only a brand in which Republic Airlines, Chautauqua Airlines and Frontier Airlines (2nd) operate the flights. Parent Republic Airways Holdings is expected to soon make a decision on which brands it wants to operate under.
Chautauqua Airlines (Continental Airlines) (Indianapolis) through its parent Republic Airways Holdings has decided to return its seven Bombardier CRJ200s (CL-600-2B19s) to the lessors and will be phased out from the fleet. The seven aircraft are currently being operated for Continental Airlines as a Continental Express carrier.
Copyright Photo: Jeffrey S. DeVore. CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N701BR (msn 7448) poses for the camera on the ramp at Houston (Bush Intercontinental).
American Eagle’s (Dallas/Fort Worth) pilots are protesting an effort by AMR to move the AmericanConnection (operated by Chautauqua Airlines) feeder operations from St. Louis to the Chicago O’Hare hub. The AmericanConnection second party operation was an outgrowth of the TWA merger and previously contained to the former St. Louis hub. Trans States Airlines (St. Louis) continues to operate AmericanConnection flights at St. Louis.
Midwest Airlines (subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings) (Milwaukee) will add the Milwaukee-St. Louis route on March 1, 2010. The new spoke route will be operated by sister airline Chautauqua Airlines with its Embraer ERJ 135s. With the upcoming phase out of the last Midwest Boeing 717 by the end of the year, will Republic move another type to the certificate to keep it active or surrender the Midwest Part 121 AOC? Frontier A319s will likely be assigned to operate West Coast routes for Midwest from and to the Milwaukee hub in the near future.
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) reported a net profit of $14.1 million in the second quarter, representing a decline of 18.2 percent.
Chautauqua Airlines (Midwest Connect) (Indianapolis) has now painted its first 37-seat Embraer ERJ 135 (EMB-135LR) (N836RP, msn 145713) in full Midwest Connect colors. The company will operate both ERJ 135s and ERJ 145s for new sister airline Midwest Airlines, replacing the CRJ200s of SkyWest Airlines. N836RP went into service on July 7 between Milwaukee and both Indianapolis and Columbus, OH.
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) has agreed to be the equity sponsor of Frontier Airlines’ (2nd) (Denver) plan of reorganization. The plan, which is subject to bankruptcy court approval and various conditions, would allow Republic to purchase 100 percent of the equity in the reorganized company for $108.75 million. If approved and completed, the plan will result in Frontier’s successful exit from Chapter 11, at which point it would become a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic Airways, along with Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America. The acquisition also includes Frontier’s Lynx Aviation subsidiary.
This announcement raises several possible scenarios if this acquisition is approved by the bankruptcy court.
1. Lynx Aviation is likely to be merged into Colgan Air (2nd).
2. Republic Airlines’ (2nd) Embraer ERJ 170s are likely to return to the Denver hub (and possibly other regional aircraft operated by Chautauqua Airlines).
3. A possible merger between Frontier Airlines and Midwest Airlines (which Republic has an interest).
One thing is guaranteed, there will be changes in Denver.
Midwest Airlines (Milwaukee) has decided to phase out SkyWest Airlines (St. George) from its Midwest Connect operation. This decision comes after a new $12 million debt refinancing injection by owner TPG Capital and Republic Airways ($6 million each). As a result Republic Airways will increase its Midwest Connect operation to now include 12 37-seat Embraer ERJ 135s and 50-seat ERJ 145s (probably to be operated by subsidiary Chautauqua Airlines) starting in July to replace the 12 Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets operated by SkyWest. SkyWest started operating for Midwest on June 1, 2007 and their operation should be phased out by January 2010. Republic Airways subsidiary Republic Airlines (2nd) currently operates 12 Embraer ERJ 170-100s and is due to add two ERJ 190-100ARs for long range routes.
Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis) has pledged to invest further in Frontier Airlines Holdings, the parent of Frontier Airlines (2nd) (Denver) and Lynx Aviation. Upon approval of the bankruptcy court, Republic will supply $40 million in debtor in possession (DIP) funding. Frontier filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on April 10, 2008. Republic is the holding company for Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines (2nd) and Shuttle America.