United terminates turboprop deal with Mesa

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United Airlines has exercised an early termination option in an agreement it has with Mesa covering 10 Bombardier Dash-8 turboprops the Phoenix-based regional operates as United Express.

Mesa disclosed the early-out right held by United to regulators in June of this year.

Today Mesa said it plans to work with United on an orderly transition to phase out the aircraft, but expects the wind down to occur no later than 30 April next year.

Mesa CEO Jonathan Ornstein says in a statement that lease terms covering four of the ten turboprops expire on 30 April, with the remaining six aircraft having lease expirations beyond that date.

"We are exploring a number of opportunities for the remaining six aircraft including other codeshare opportunities, our independent operations or subleasing the aircraft to other operators," he says.

United also has rights next April to terminate the operation of 26 Bombardier CRJ200s Mesa operates for the US major. United has certain renewal rights under that agreement to extend operations for five years by supplying Mesa with 180 days notice.

United in August of this year issued a request for proposal to regional operators covering operations currently performed under Express contracts that expire next year.