Mesa Air Group hopes to negotiate a new codeshare agreement with America West Airlines, after being informed that its arrangement to operate as America West Express will be terminated on 2 April. Mesa is already reeling from the termination of United Airlines codeshare agreements, which account for almost half of its revenues.

The current 10-year agreement with America West was to run to 2004, but is being cut short because Mesa failed to achieve the required completion reliability of 97%.

The regional blames crew shortages on its Raytheon Beech 1900s, caused by training backlogs resulting from its recent upgrade to Part 121 operating standards as the cause of the problem.

These problems have been overcome, Mesa says, noting that its completion reliability rose from 95% in December to 99.3% in the first half of March.

The regional group is negotiating a new long term agreement with America West. Five Bombardier Canadair Regional Jets (CRJs) previously operated independently by Mesa have been transferred to its US Airways Express operation, which will now reach its 12-aircraft limit in June, earlier than planned.

Without an agreement to increase regional jet service for America West, Mesa will be unable to operate many of the 32 CRJs it has on order.

Source: Flight International