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.