ExpressJet is back. The carrier secured permission from the US Department of Transportation today to resume operations as a scheduled air carrier, ten months after halting operations as a United Airlines regional feeder.
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
In a statement the company confirms that it is finalizing the execution plans for relaunch, with details expected to be released in a few weeks. It also confirms that the delay in launch will “phase shift” the fleet ramp-up but not materially shift the pace at which aircraft and routes will be added.
The carrier suspended flight operations on 30 September 2020 as United Airlines moved all ERJ operations away from the carrier. The rest of 2020 was spent returning aircraft as part of the wind-down of UnitedExpress operations. But the company kept one ERJ-145 and is now ready to press it into service, along with nine others it plans to lease in the first year of operations.
Our plans for 2021 and beyond, will leverage the company’s 35-year history of having flown several hundred aircraft to 300+ airports in the Americas. This plan will focus on city pairs that are unserved or abandoned by the major airlines, the “ultra low-cost carriers,” and even the new airline entrants.
The company’s launch plans are rather aggressive. By June 2021 it plans for three aircraft to operate a total of 420 departures carrying a total of 15,847 passengers in six point-to-point markets. It anticipates those travelers would pay an average of $153 for the service. The fleet would grow to 10 aircraft over the course of a year, reaching a dozen markets.
ExpressJet’s initial relaunch application had it commencing service in April 2021, allowing it to benefit from the double benefits of a travel rebound and traditional Summer demand. An approval at the end of July wipes out the Summer boost, though domestic demand remains bullish, even in the face of a resurgent pandemic and returning mask restrictions in many markets.
A favor to ask while you're here...
Did you enjoy the content? Or learn something useful? Or generally just think this is the type of story you'd like to see more of? Consider supporting the site through a donation (any amount helps). It helps keep me independent and avoiding the credit card schlock.