Mesa Air Group by the end of this
quarter wants to close on a deal pertaining to its 20-strong Raytheon Beech
1900 fleet flown by subsidiary Air Midwest, chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein has
revealed to ATI.
details are not being discussed, Ornstein says the company has been in talks
with every airline that flies that aircraft type, including Big Sky Airlines,
Great Lakes Airlines and Gulfstream
Gulfstream received US DOT approval to take
over some of the unprofitable markets that Air Midwest would like to exit.
Ornstein previously revealed the
company is also in discussions with Raytheon about possible options for the
Separately, in response to Mesa
pilots union’s decision to put up to billboards to express its anger with
management over pilot staffing and morale issues, Ornstein says it is a common
tactic for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) to make such claims during
contract negotiations. The contact becomes amendable
“We have attrition all
the time. Mesa
has the best pilots in the world”, says Ornstein, so major airlines recruit
from the company. The April-May spike in attrition has subsided, he adds.
Regarding the soon to
be eliminated Bombardier Dash 8 operations conducted by Mesa’s
Freedom Airlines unit at New York JFK for Delta Air Lines, Ornstein says the
aircraft are being returned to their lessors.