Category Archives: United Express

CommutAir to add 21 Embraer ERJ 145s, will retire the Dash 8s by January 2018

All DHC-8 Dash 8s to be replaced with ERJ 145s by January 2018

CommutAir (Burlington, VT) has announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with United Airlines to add 21 Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft to its existing contract to fly 40 jet aircraft under the United Express brand.

These jets will replace Bombardier the Dash 8 turboprop aircraft with planned retirements by January 2018.

Under the MOU, CommutAir plans to:

  • Accelerate the retirement of its 21 Bombardier DHC-8 Dash 8’s – with the final exit in January 2018
  • Continue accepting Embraer ERJ145 aircraft through 2019 until 61 jets have been inducted
  • Offer an improved and attractive hiring incentive program for pilots

“We are gratified by United’s renewed vote of confidence in CommutAir’s dedicated employees,” said Subodh Karnik, CommutAir’s President & CEO.  “This development will allow us to triple in size by 2019, provide tremendous career-growth opportunities for our employees, and help us pursue our Vision of ‘becoming United’s regional airline partner of choice’.”

This development follows the 2016 agreement between United Airlines and CommutAir, which resulted in:

  • United’s purchase of a 40 percent ownership stake in CommutAir stock, as part of a comprehensive recapitalization
  • A new Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) to double CommutAir’s fleet with 40 ERJ145 aircraft
  • United’s first, and most expansive, Career Path Program (CPP) to provide CommutAir pilots with a gateway to a United flight deck in as quickly as a year

“Our growing team of 800 plus aviation professionals embrace our family environment and can-do culture and were the driving force behind the successful launch of the Embraer ERJ145 in 2016 – which was faster than the three other operators who undertook similar efforts last year,” said Joel Raymond, Chief Operating Officer.  “Accelerating Dash-8 retirements and continuing to grow the Embraer ERJ145 fleet will afford our pilots and other employees with leading regional airline industry career advancement opportunities.”

As part of its growth plan, CommutAir announced a significant improvement to its Pilot sign-on bonus program and further enhancements to its Career Path Program.

Copyright Photo: United Express-CommutAir Bombardier DHC-8-311 (Q300) N838CA (msn 527) BWI (Tony Storck). Image: 909675.

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Air Wisconsin to fly again for United Airlines as an United Express carrier

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Air Wisconsin Airlines (Appleton, WI) was facing an uncertain future as American Airlines has not yet indicated if it will extend the current American Eagle contract which is due to expire in 2018.

Air Wisconsin has just signed a five-year capacity purhcase agreement (CPA) with United Airlines to once again fly as an United Express carrier. Air Wisconsin flew in United Express colors from October 26, 1986 to April 16, 2006 (below).

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 1993

Copyright Photo: United Express-Air Wisconsin BAe ATP N853AW (msn 2022) IGM (Jacques Guillem Collection). Image: 932135.

United Express-Air Wisconsin slide show:

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Since then Air Wisconsin has operated as an US Airways Express and now an American Eagle carrier.

Air Wisconsin currently operates 66 Canadair (Bombardier) CRJ200 regional jets for American (below):

American Eagle-Air Wisconsin Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N423AW (msn 7636) CLT (Jay Selman). Image: 403093.

Copyright Photo: American Eagle-Air Wisconsin Bombardier CRJ200 (CL-600-2B19) N423AW (msn 7636) CLT (Jay Selman). Image: 403093.

American Eagle-Air Wisconsin slide show:

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ALPA issued this statement representing the Air Wisconsin pilots:

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Air Wisconsin pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), are applauding a new agreement with an old partner—United Airlines—that will give their carrier new flying for five years or more.

The agreement, announced on February 27, 2017 by United President Scott Kirby and Air Wisconsin CEO Christine Deister, came as the Wisconsin-based carrier was nearing the end of its contract with American Airlines. With the uncertainty of American renewing its contract with Air Wisconsin when it expires in early 2018, the agreement with United gives the airline and its employees new hope and opportunity.

“We are excited to renew our long-term relationship as a United Express carrier. Air Wisconsin flew under United’s colors from the 1980s until 2006, so for many of us at the airline, this announcement feels like we’re coming home,” said Capt. Chris Suhs, chairman of ALPA’s Air Wisconsin group.

According to Air Wisconsin management, the United agreement includes a career pathway program that will give pilots a path to jobs at the larger carrier if they meet United’s hiring standards and other conditions.

Suhs is hopeful that the stability the new deal with United provides will help Air Wisconsin attract and retain pilots, as well as assist management and the union in finally coming to terms on a new pilot contract. The two sides have been in negotiations for more than six years.

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CommutAir becomes a new Embraer ERJ operator

CommutAir Begins Commercial Service with ERJ-145XR Aircraft for United Express (PRNewsFoto/CommutAir)

CommutAir Begins Commercial Service with ERJ-145XR Aircraft for United Express (PRNewsFoto/CommutAir)

CommutAir on July 1, 2016 began commercial service with its inaugural United Express flight on the Embraer ERJ-145XR regional jet from Washington, DC (Dulles) to Columbia, SC.

CommutAir, operating as United Express, is majority owned by Champlain Enterprises Inc., an airline holding company founded in the 1980s. Today, CommutAir operates a large fleet of Bombardier Q200/Q300 aircraft with more than 650 weekly flights to 29 airports.

Photo: CommutAir.

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United to add Denver – Richmond flights

United Express-SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N114SY (msn 17000410) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 930968.

United Airlines (Chicago) will add daily United Express Embraer 175 service (operated by SkyWest Airlines) between the Denver hub and Richmond, Virginia starting on April 5 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N114SY (msn 17000410) taxies at Toronto (Pearson).

United Express-SkyWest aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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Mesa Airlines expands its E175 agreement with United Airlines

United Express-Mesa Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N84307 (msn 17000419) IAD (Brian McDonough). Image: 929957.

Mesa Airlines, Inc. (Phoenix) has announced the expansion of its agreement with United Airlines (Chicago) to operate three additional Embraer 175 aircraft, bringing the total number of United Express aircraft operated by Mesa to 68. In October, the Company announced an agreement for the addition of 15 new aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2016, which has now increased to 18. Mesa currently operates 30 Embraer E175 aircraft and 20 Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft under the United Express brand.

 

The E175’s 76-seat dual-class configuration features 12 First-Class, 16 Premium Economy and 48 Coach seats. The aircraft has Inflight Wi-Fi connectivity, leather seating and electric outlets in First Class.

Mesa Airlines currently operates as American Eagle from hubs in Phoenix and Dallas/Fort Worth and as United Express from Washington Dulles and Houston. Founded on a mesa in New Mexico in 1982 by Larry and Janie Risley, Mesa currently operates 115 aircraft, with more than 530 daily system departures to 103 cities, 38 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Mexico.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) N84307 (msn 17000419) departs from United’s Washington Dulles International Airport hub.

United Express-Mesa aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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CommutAir’s pilots ratify the new four-year contract

United Express-CommutAir Bombardier DHC-8-202 (Q200) N364PH (msn 524) BWI (Tony Storck). Image: 909729.

CommutAir (United Express) (Burlington, VT) has confirmed that its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA), ratified a new four year contract that the company called a “significant accomplishment in light of a very challenging employment environment”.

The new four year deal addresses key quality of life and pay issues as well as important productivity concerns as the Company implements significant growth plans with the addition of 40 Embraer ERJ 145 jet aircraft to its fleet pursuant to the recently announced five year flying contract with United Airlines.

In addition to the announced aircraft growth the Company has established a “Career Path Program” CPP with United Airlines where participating pilots are offered the option to transition from CommutAir to United after meeting various service, performance record and accumulated flight hour requirements.

CommutAir, operating as United Express, is the d/b/a of Champlain Enterprises Inc., an airline holding company founded in the 1980s. Today, CommutAir operates a large fleet of Bombardier Q200/Q300 aircraft with more than 650 weekly flights to 29 airports.

Copyright Photo: Tony Storck/AirlinersGallery.com. CommutAir’s Bombardier DHC-8-202 (Q200) N364PH (msn 524) arrives at Baltimore/Washington.

United Express-CommutAir aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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CommutAir takes delivery of its first jetliner

CommutAir (United Express) (Burlington, VT) issued this statement and photo concerning the delivery of its first (of 40) Embraer ERJ 145:

CommutAir’s first jet aircraft arrived at its Albany maintenance base earlier this week. It will be used for FAA certification and training before being placed into service early next year.

The first aircraft is one of 40 ERJ145 aircraft that CommutAir will operate under a previously announced operating contract with United Airlines. The contract also introduced a Career Path Program (CPP) for CommutAir pilots.

 

CommutAir, operating as United Express, is the d/b/a of Champlain Enterprises Inc., an airline holding company founded in the 1980s. Today, CommutAir operates a large fleet of Bombardier Q200/Q300 aircraft with more than 650 weekly flights to 29 airports.

Photo: PRNewsPhoto/CommutAir.

United Express-CommutAir slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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