Republic speeds elimination of small jets

July 30, 2008

By Norm Heikens

Republic Airways Holdings, the Indianapolis-based parent of Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, said yesterday it will accelerate its schedule to do away with a small, 37-seat jet used to carry passengers for Delta Air Lines.

The 11 remaining Embraer E135 aircraft will be removed from service by Sept. 30 instead of being phased out at the rate of two a month from November until April 2009, Republic said.

Delta and other big carriers are losing enthusiasm for the jets because their small size makes it difficult to dilute high fuel costs. As a result, Republic is eliminating planes with fewer than 50 passengers.

About half of Republic's 226 aircraft are small.

Early this month United Airlines ended its contract with Chautauqua Airlines, which flies 45-seat Embraer jets for the giant carrier. Days later, Republic said it would cut 500 jobs.

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