Mesaba Airlines to Fly as US Airways Express

Minneapolis/St. Paul based Mesaba Airlines has announced that the carrier is expecting to fly as a new US Airways Express carrier in 2011. Mesaba will fly seven leased SAAB
340Bs recently returned to Delta Air Lines from another Delta Connection carrier.
Mesaba is expected to base the aircraft from a new crew base at New York’s
LaGuardia Airport.


Mesaba

Mesaba will be leasing the aircraft directly from Saab. Delta Airlines came into ownership of the aircraft as a result of their acquisition of Northwest Airlines. Delta then
decided to retire the fleet and return them to Saab when their leases expired.

The following is an announcement sent to Mesaba employees:

Fellow Mesaba employees:

“When we announced Mesaba’s acquisition by Pinnacle Airlines Corp. in July, one
of the benefits we intended to realize was the return of Saab aircraft to our
company’s operation. Last year, Delta Air Lines made the decision to move to an all-jet
fleet however, the leadership teams at both Mesaba and Pinnacle were confident there
are other markets in which we could continue to successfully operate the Saab.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that Mesaba plans to enter into an agreement
with US Airways to begin Saab 340
B+
operated flights from New York’s LaGuardia Airport beginning in March of 2011. We will initially operate three lines of flying with one spare aircraft, and add three additional lines in April. Currently, we are scheduled to provide service from LGA to Ithaca and Syracuse, New York; Providence, Rhode Island, Charlottesville, Virginia; Manchester, New Hampshire; and Washington-Dulles. This plan allows us to begin recruiting additional maintenance personnel and flight attendants immediately. We will also establish a crew domicile at LGA for flight crews as well as a Mesaba maintenance station at that location.“

“Beginning in January, we will begin taking delivery of seven aircraft that
Mesaba previously operated – numbers 402, 407, 412, 413, 414, 416, and 418. When we receive the aircraft, they will be painted in US Airways livery and will feature the
same interior we recently installed as part of our refurbishment program. Our Technical Operations department will begin the process of readying the aircraft for service –
performing inspections and checks, and installing necessary manuals and emergency
equipment. Today’s announcement is excellent news as we are able to welcome new employees, expand our service offerings to a new carrier, and enter a new period of growth at our airline. As we have stated, this is another example of Mesaba’s newly gained ability to explore opportunities and to secure our own future. In the meantime, we have much work to do, and will provide more information about this announcement as we get closer to initializing service.”

Mesaba was purchased in July of 2010 by Pinnacle Airlines,
which also owns Colgan Air. Pinnacle announced that all jet flying would be done by Pinnacle with all turbo-prop flying done by a combined Mesaba/Colgan airline which will be called by the Mesaba brand name.

Pinnacle also announced plans to merge all three pilot groups into one seniority list, and the pilot union for all three groups recently announced that a tentative agreement has been reached between Pinnacle management and the pilot unions to merge the
lists.