ExpressJet Holdings Inc. said Monday that its traffic rose 19 percent from a year ago, when the carrier was reeling from the loss of flying for Delta and shutting down its own branded airline.
Capacity rose 11 percent, to 808 million available seat miles. With traffic rising faster than the carrier rebuilt capacity, the average occupancy of its planes, or load factor, rose to 76.3 percent from 70.8 percent in September 2008.
ExpressJet said paying passengers flew 617 million miles, up from 517 million miles a year ago.
For the first nine months of the year, traffic and capacity were both down 3 percent from the same period of 2008.
ExpressJet had a total of 244 planes in its fleet during September – 214 allocated to flying as Continental Express and 30 operating in its Corporate Aviation division.
ExpressJet Holdings’ main subsidiary, ExpressJet Airlines, helps link smaller cities to bigger ones. Operating as Continental Express, the regional airline enables Continental Airlines to reach markets that would be inefficient to serve with larger aircraft.
It operates a fleet of more than 200 Embraer regional jets from Continental’s hubs in Cleveland, Houston, and Newark, New Jersey. Overall, ExpressJet Airlines serves about 130 destinations in the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The carrier also offers charter flights, and sister company ExpressJet Services provides aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul services.
ExpressJet Airlines serves 128 scheduled destinations in North America and the Caribbean with approximately 1,160 departures per day. Operations include a capacity purchase agreement for Continental; providing clients customized 41-seat and 50-seat charter options and supplying third-party aviation and ground handling services.