America West Airlines and US regional Mesa Airlines have entered into a new six-year code-share agreement which will quadruple the number of 50-seat Canadair Regional Jets (CRJs) dedicated to the America West Express regional operation.

The new deal reverses a deterioration of the six-year partnership which earlier this year led America West to announce it was to abandon the code-share. Jonathan Ornstein, Mesa's new head, admits that the company's performance for America West last year was "highly unsatisfactory" and led to cancellation of the agreement.

After a temporary stay of execution, the two sides have now reached a new agreement. Earlier this year, Mesa lost a United Express franchise.

Most America West Express routes will be served by Mesa CRJs and 37-seat Bombardier de Havilland Dash 8s, replacing 19-seat Raytheon Beech 1900s.

The number of CRJs and Dash 8s committed to the America West Express regional operation will be increased to 12 and 14, respectively, by the end of 1999, with options to continue to expand both fleets in 2000/1. Three CRJs are now used to feed traffic to America West.

Source: Flight International