Thursday, July 10, 2008

ExpressJet Cutting Operations, Big Impact on Sacramento Airport

(Sacramento Business Journal)
ExpressJet will stop flying under its own brand name effective September 2. The company will discontinue its 13 daily departures from Sacramento International Airport, including flights between Sacramento and Bakersfield; Santa Barbara; Tucson, Ariz.; Tulsa, Okla.; San Antonio; Oklahoma City; Spokane, Wash.; Colorado Springs, Colo. and Albuquerque, N.M. Those flights will end Sept. 1 under the plan the company announced Tuesday.

The 39 aircraft currently used in ExpressJet operations will be among those returned to the lessor no later than June 2009.

On July 7, Delta Air Lines Inc. announced it was ending its Delta Connections partnership with ExpressJet.

ExpressJet, a subsidiary of Houston-based ExpressJet Holdings Inc. (NYSE: XJT), said it would stop flying Delta Connection routes, primarily out of Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, beginning Sept. 1. ExpressJet said it will continue to operate flights as Continental Express under a deal with Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL).

ExpressJet will continue flying a fleet of 205 aircraft as Continental Express to more than 150 destinations, as well as continue to serve charter customers with a fleet of 30 aircraft through ExpressJet Corporate Aviation.

"If we had any other choice, we would not take this difficult action," ExpressJet chief executive officer Jim Ream said. "However, rising fuel prices has made the operation impossible to sustain."

Tickets to ExpressJet flights before Sept. 2 are not affected, the airline said. The carrier will continue to sell tickets for those flights.