No surprise as ExpressJet ends its own operation

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No surprises? ExpressJet has finally pulled the plug on its independent branded service, a venture (or adventure) in point-to-point flying it began just over a year ago, when its former parent Continental Airlines pulled the plug on some of its flying as Continental Express. XJet said its 39 Embraers used in the operation will go back to their lessors by next June, while the flying will end in September. Its service, which it sold through such marketing slogans as “get over stopovers/stopovers are so last week,” was a boon to some airports that had not had very much non-stop service, on such routes as Oklahoma City to Sacramento or Boise to San Diego.

 

532777856_062ecfcae2.jpgOntario, Calif., which had become a West Coast mini-hub for Xjet, suffers a blow. In the East, Raleigh/Durham, which has suffered from cutbacks from the majors, takes a hit, losing its non-stop links to Kansas City, New Orleans, and San Antonio.

ExpressJet has struggled since the Continental pull back even though it will still fly 205 Embraers as a Continental Express carrier. It’s recently suffered a series of setbacks, after it rejected an April takeover bid from SkyWest Holdings. In May, its credit-card processor increased its hold back, then Continental forced it into a lower-paying capacity-purchase contract that also took away 39 jets; then just a week ago, Delta Air Lines said it was ending a flying deal that took 10 Xjet Embraers in a capacity-purchase deal and another 11 in which the carrier and Atlanta-based Delta shared the revenue risks, mostly for Salt Lake City flying.

So except for some 30 planes used in charter service as ExpressJet Corporate Aviation, it’s more or less back where it started. Jim Ream, president and chief executive of ExpressJet said “if we had any other choice, we would not take this difficult action.”  But rising fuel prices have m

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ade the operation “impossible to sustain.” Interestingly, the SkyWest offer, which it rejected as just not enough, was for $3.50 a share, while ExpressJet shares are under a buck ($1) – when they trade.

 

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9 Responses to No surprise as ExpressJet ends its own operation

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  9. Diana Santin December 21, 2010 at 12:09 am #

    That makes sense to me but does this?

    It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

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