Mesa Air Group (Phoenix) announced on May 17 that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia had ruled against its subsidiary Freedom Airlines in its lawsuit against partner Delta Air Lines. The ruling now clears the way for DL to end the contract.
Freedom began operating as an Delta Connection carrier with Embraer ERJ 145s from Orlando in October 2005. On April 7, 2008, Mesa Air Group, the parent of Freedom Airlines, sued Delta concerning its contractual obligations. Delta attempted to terminate the ERJ 145 contract due to alleged failures to meet its completion goals in three of the last six months of operations. On May 29, 2008, a federal judge blocked Delta from terminating Freedom’s contract which, according to parent company, would have forced it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by July 20, 2008 and cut 700 jobs or 14 percent of its work force. Since then, the ERJ 145 fleet has been reduced to 22 operating aircraft along with five spares.
Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Freedom Airlines’ ERJ 145LR N857MJ (msn 145765) taxies to the gate at Miami.