Mesa targets August deadline to cease flying for Delta

Washington DC
This story is sourced from Pro
See more Pro news »

US regional operator Mesa Air Group has started to work on a schedule to shutter Delta Connection flying operated by its Freedom Airlines subsidiary, and expects to cease the operations by the end of August.

Mesa CEO Jonathan Ornstein supplied that timeline to the company's staff in his latest employee update.

A court decision issued on 18 May ended a two year dispute between the two carriers. Delta in March 2008 attempted to suspend its contract with Freedom, claiming Freedom failed to meet certain operational targets.

Mesa disputed Delta's claims and sued to reverse Delta's decision, and won a preliminary injunction that prohibited Delta from terminating the deal.

But Delta appealed and ultimately won a ruling that allows it to proceed with terminating its agreement with Mesa, which currently covers 22 Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets.

At the time US courts ruled in favour of Delta, Mesa chief Ornstein said roughly 500 employees could be affected by the shut-down of Freedom.

He tell staff that Mesa management and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) have "passed papers back and forth" related to furlough mitigation. Ornstein says Mesa will "sit down with them [ALPA] and try to mitigate this while attempting to operate the company as efficiently as possible".

Previously Ornstein has said the ERJs would be returned to lessors.