Tag Archives: Continental Express

ExpressJet Airlines’ pilots now are “optimistic” for the sale to SkyWest

ExpressJet Airlines’ (Houston) pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), met this week to determine their position on the proposed sale of ExpressJet Airlines to SkyWest Holdings, Inc. (St. George) and the planned subsequent merger of the airline with Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) (Atlanta), which was announced on August 4, 2010. The history of airline mergers has shown that pilot support is critical to an airline’s ability to fully realize the financial and operational gains from a merger.

After the August 4, 2010 announcement, the pilots’ union publicly stated a number of requirements that must be met for pilot support of the transaction:

– the transaction must result in a profitable airline that provides long-term stability and progressive career potential for our pilots;

– the transaction must honor the scope and successorship provisions of our collective bargaining agreement;

– management must commit to negotiating a joint collective bargaining agreement that benefits all pilots; and

– there must be a fair and equitable seniority list integration.

The union is now optimistic that the needs of the pilots will be protected.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Embraer ERJ 145XR (EMB-145XR) N13124 (msn 145689) operating as Continental Express prepares to land at Minneapolis/St. Paul.

ExpressJet loses $18.6 million in the 2Q

ExpressJet Holdings, Inc. (Houston), parent company of regional and charter airline operator, ExpressJet Airlines (Houston) reported a second quarter loss of $5 million or $0.27 per diluted share excluding special items primarily related to non-cash adjustments of deferred tax assets and impairment of fixed assets. Including special items, ExpressJet’s loss totaled $18.6 million or $0.99 per diluted share for second quarter 2010.

For the six months ended June 30, ExpressJet’s loss excluding special items totaled $18.2 million or $1.00 per diluted share. Including special items, ExpressJet reported a loss of $34.7 million or $1.92 per diluted share for the six months ended June 30, 2010.

Subsequent to quarter-end, ExpressJet announced that it signed a definitive merger agreement with SkyWest, Inc. (Nasdaq:SKYW – News) whereby SkyWest, Inc. will acquire all of the outstanding common shares of ExpressJet for $6.75 per share in cash subject to the conditions of the definitive merger agreement. SkyWest, Inc. advised that its intention is that ExpressJet will be merged with its wholly-owned subsidiary, Atlantic Southeast Airlines following the closing of the transaction and receipt of all required regulatory approvals.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. ExpressJet’s Embraer ERJ 145LR N15980 (msn 145202) taxies to the active runway at Charlotte.

Continental Express starts Houston-Tuxtla Gutierrez flights

Continental Airlines (Houston-Bush Intercontinental) yesterday (June 9) began twice-weekly flights between its Houston hub at Bush Intercontinental Airport and Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico, the airline’s 30th Mexican destination.

The new flight, operated as a Continental Express service by ExpressJet Airlines (Houston), departs Houston at 6:15 p.m. (1815) on Wednesdays and Saturdays, arriving in Tuxtla Gutierrez at 9:20 p.m. (2120). The return flight departs Tuxtla Gutierrez at 8:30 a.m. (0830) on Thursdays and Sundays and arrives in Houston at 11:20 a.m. (1120). ExpressJet will utilize the 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145XR regional jets for the new service.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. ExpressJet’s Embraer ERJ 145XR (EMB-145XR) N13124 (msn 145689) prepares to land at Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Continental Express to add Houston-Tuxtla Gutierrez on June 9

Continental Airlines (Houston) today announced that beginning June 9, 2010, it will offer twice-weekly flights between its Houston hub at Bush Intercontinental Airport and Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico, the airline’s 30th Mexican destination, subject to government approval. Continental serves more destinations inMexico from the U.S. than any other airline.

The new flight, operated as Continental Express by ExpressJet Airlines, departs Houston at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday and arrives in Tuxtla Gutierrez at 9:20 p.m.  The return flight departs Tuxtla Gutierrez at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday and Sunday and arrives in Houston at 11:20 a.m.  Flights are timed for convenient connections to other flights in Continental’s network across the U.S. and to Canada and Europe.

ExpressJet Airlines will utilize the 50-seat Embraer ERJ 145XR regional jet for the new service.

Joel Chusid’s Airline Corner

Joel Chusid, Guest Editor

Guest Editor

Critters on Board

Birds can do serious damage to an airplane, but in this case the impact came from the inside. After 123 passengers had boarded a Korean Air domestic flight a few months ago, a sparrow entered the cabin through an open door and began fluttering about. Passengers had to deplane and change airplanes while the bird was captured and set free. Egyptair had a different problem when on a flight from Abu Dhabi to Cairo a baby crocodile escaped from a passenger’s carry-on bag. Passengers panicked until a crew member was able to retrieve the animal which no one would claim, since the transport of exotic fauna into Egypt would have landed someone in a heap of trouble.  The croc was given to the Cairo Zoo.   Don’t assume this only happens in Asia or Africa.  Last December otters being unloaded from a Continental Express regional jet at Houston escaped their cages and caused the flight to be delayed.  While it wasn’t funny at the time, passengers had a good story for their next cocktail party, although some reported that the otters had somehow managed to get into some of their luggage and do some rummaging. AP reported on a passenger bitten by a scorpion on a Southwest Airlines flight in Arizona which had somehow gotten into his carry-on bag. Luckily he wasn’t seriously hurt. Last summer, JFK’s Runway 4L/22R had to be briefly closed because of a swarm of turtles that emerged from the adjacent swamp, resulting in delays. Animals and airplanes are just going to have to learn how to coexist!

Face Lifts for Miles

One of the most coveted awards some airlines used to offer was a cockpit simulator ride for frequent flyers. The thrill of the cockpit was just so tantalizing for road warriors who are relegated to the passenger cabin.  Leave it to the Finns, however, to come up with an innovative way to redeem frequent flyer miles. Members of Finnair Plus can now redeem miles for plastic surgery at a hospital in Helsinki. The award levels are steep, with a set of new breasts costing 3.18 million miles, which would take 120 Business Class round trips between New York and Helsinki. Hair replacement (3.2 million miles) and face lift (4.64 million miles) surgery are also offered, and the airline reports it is in discussion to offer other medical awards as well. Publicity stunt or for real? (https://pointshop.finnair.com/product_info.php?products_id=57&language=en) There are plenty of frequent flyers out there, mileage rich, looking for new ways to spend their flight currency rather than for another flight or even an upgrade. The Finnair site looks like an online shopping mall – or just take a look at www.points.com. The variety is endless.

The Tefillin Incident

In what has become known as “The Tefillin Incident” which sounds like the name of a spy thriller, a US Airways Express regional jet flight en route early one morning from New York’s La Guardia Airport to Louisville was diverted to Philadelphia when an alarmed passenger noticed a young man tying strange black boxes on his head and arm.  The crew, and apparently none of the 15 passengers, having ever witnessed this before, became alarmed and chose to divert. Understandably with the shoe bomber and the more recent “underwear bomber” having made news, no one can fault the crew for being overly cautious. The Orthodox Jewish passenger was using tefillin, also called phylacteries, which contain holy scrolls and are attached by thin leather straps to the arm and forehead. Their use is a daily ritual with prayer to be accomplished within a few hours of sunrise. The flight had left in the dark early morning hours, was not very full, so the young man proceeded to fulfill his religious obligation. Upon arrival in Philadelphia, a brief handcuffing and interrogation by police occurred, and the flight and everyone was allowed to proceed. But it amazes me that no one on that airplane had ever seen this before.

Door to Nowhere

What is it of late, with passengers opening doors on airplanes on their own? A passenger on a Pinnacle Airlines flight tried to open a door as the regional jet was taxiing at the Lansing Airport in preparation for takeoff to Detroit, a flight of maybe 30 minutes or so. The airline reported the man had a panic attack, and while he was arrested, one can empathize with his situation. Still, passengers were delayed three hours.  An American Airlines flight landed at DFW Airport from Charlotte, NC and during its taxi to the terminal, a passenger, concerned about his tight connection, bolted into First Class, opened the galley door, slid down the deployed slide and strode over to Terminal C where fleet service clerks were able to detain him. I doubt he made his connection.

Airport Makes the Big Time

Some years ago I shared the podium with the late Senator Edward Kennedy and Massachusetts officials at the Worcester Airport to announce American Eagle service to New York’s JFK Airport. At the time, Delta Connection was also flying to Atlanta, and the group was elated that someone had discovered an alternative to Boston’s busy Logan Airport, MASSPORT’s other airport, for regional air service.  Unfortunately, the service never succeeded and Worcester was relegated to one of those airports that lost all scheduled air service. Well, Worcester Airport has found fame, although it’s in a Hollywood film, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, tentatively set to be released later this year. Filming was done last September. The movie was code-named “Wichita”, and alas, Worcester had to masquerade as the Mid-Continent Airport in the city of the same name.

Flying High, on Skis

In the sporting spirit of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Dusseldorf Airport claims to have opened the first airport ski jump, one week before the games. Eddie the Eagle, of Olympics past, was scheduled to open the jump, located right in the check-in hall as part of an industry travel show. Speaking of frozen matter, a couple in was stunned when a 40 pound chunk of ice from an unidentified airplane smashed through their roof. I just hope the ice wasn’t blue. The fact that the airplane was on its descent, as opposed to takeoff, leads me to believe it might have been. Yuk.

Joel Chusid has spent a lifetime in the world of airlines, as an executive at both an American domestic carrier and two Asian airlines. He is Chairman of the Association of Travel Marketing Executives. Joel’s perspectives on the industry reflect his experience and sense of humor. Enjoy this light look at an industry that’s forever changing.

Note: Joel welcomes articles in the same vein as the column! Send them to him at jmchusid@aol.com.

Chautauqua Airlines to phase out the seven CRJ200s operated for Continental Airlines

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).

Continental Express to add new routes from Cleveland to Green Bay and Norfolk on May 2

Continental Airlines (Houston) announced that it will operate daily nonstop service between its Cleveland hub (Hopkins International Airport) to Green Bay and Norfolk beginning on May 2, 2010. The Continental Express service will use Embraer regional jet aircraft with 50 seats.

ExpressJet’s flight CO 2816 crew exonerated

ExpressJet Airlines (Continental Express) (Houston) and Continental Airlines (Houston) applauded the report by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on the widely-reported tarmac delay of flight CO 2816 at Rochester, MN. The flight crew repeatedly tried to deplane the passengers and crew but were denied access to a gate.

Press release:


Meanwhile Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) is conducting an internal investigation with its Mesaba Airlines (Delta Connection) (Minneapolis/St. Paul) subsidiary which apparently refused to help its Continental Express rival.

Press release: