Republic salvages Delta flights in bankruptcy deal

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Delta Air Lines will continue using 55 planes flown by Chautauqua Airlines and Shuttle America if a court approves an agreement reached between bankrupt Delta and the parent of Chautauqua and Shuttle America, Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings said today.

Maintaining the contract with Atlanta-based Delta was critical for Republic because the 55 planes amounted to nearly a third of its fleet.

In the unlikely event that Republic would have had to sell all the planes, at least 700 jobs would have been lost, said Timothy Dooley, vice president of financial planning and analysis.

However, the 15 planes Chautauqua operates through the Delta Connection program will be removed beginning in September 2008 at the rate of two per month. The slow pace will allow Republic to find other uses for the planes.

“We generally see this as positive,” Dooley said.

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