ExpressJet will not fly as an independent carrier this fall as previously planned. Instead, the carrier will operate under the brand name “aha!” or “fly-aha!” when it launches service. The new names were registered with the US Department of Transportation in mid-August and formally approved by the agency on 22 September.
ExpressJet expects to resume service within the quarter with a focus on cities, markets, and customers that have seen diminished air service as a result of airline consolidation and an industry trend towards larger aircraft. ExpressJet will leverage its 35-year history of having flown several hundred aircraft to most of America’s smaller airports and intends to provide service in small and abandoned markets with unmet customer needs – avoiding needless overlap with the major airlines and “ultra-low-cost carriers.”– Company statement
Based on the filing, the “aha” name appears to stand for Air Hotel Adventure, hinting that the company is considering travel packages as a significant part of its operations.
How that plays out remains to be seen, though a launch later this year remains possible. The company previously indicated it would “focus on city pairs that are unserved or abandoned by the major airlines, the ‘ultra low-cost carriers,’ and even the new airline entrants.”
With Avelo and Breeze quickly setting up shop across the country the number of viable city pairs without competition continues to decrease. Operating with smaller planes could help aha! drive higher fares in its markets, though the ERJ-145 comes with relatively high operating costs per seat compared to the others.
- ExpressJet secures approval for independent re-launch
- ExpressJet plans comeback this Spring
- ExpressJet to wind down operations on 30 September
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