Pinnacle Airlines would cease all turboprop flying for United-Continental by 30 November if its bankruptcy plan is approved.
The Bombardier Q400 and Saab 340s in Pinnacle subsidiary Colgan Air's fleet will be returned to the Export Development Canada (EDC) bank and finance agencies, respectively, under Pinnacle's bankruptcy plan.
The Saab 340s flying on essential air service routes for United Express since 2008 will be the first to cease operations, according to Pinnacle's court documents filed on 1 April.
Colgan's fleet of 25 Saab 340s will be wound down from 25 in April to 20 in May to 15 in June and finally to nine in July. But in August, the entire fleet will be returned.
Meanwhile, Colgan's 28 Q400s flying under a five year old capacity purchase agreement with the former Continental Airlines will be returned to the EDC by December.
Colgan will reduce the fleet by three aircraft each month from April to July. Another four aircraft will be returned in August, reducing the average fleet to 12 aircraft. Colgan will then return three aircraft each in September and October. The last six will be returned before 1 December.
The winding down plan is part of an arrangement between Pinnacle and United to avoid an abrupt break in service.
United has agreed to reduce claims against Colgan by $5 million and to allow Colgan to keep $1 million in essential air service funding, Pinnacle's filing states.