Mesa Airlines took their one-aircraft company to a fleet of sixty aircraft in just ten short years. Substantial attempts were made in the 80′s to improve on the guidelines concerning the growth of the company.
Their determination was rewarded in the 90′s with valuable opportunities afforded for greater growth. This is how it was for Mesa, and is also typical for many airlines, as they seized advantage of opportunities when available. Let’s examine Mesa Airlines with a little more detail and uncover a more complete picture.
Mesa Airlines was born as a part of the company JB Aviation by Jane and Larry Risley in 1980. Mesa Airlines had a name change to Mesa Air Shuttle two years after it was formed and it was operating out of New Mexico and Albuquerque for the following five years. Eventually they moved their primary hub to Phoenix Arizona and pursued code sharing partners. It is very common to find big and small airlines practicing code sharing still to this day. In ’92 Mesa and America West Airlines came to an agreement to share codes.
United Express was created when Mesa Airlines created additional partnerships. This sort of deal is a way that airlines guarantee revenue, and it is a pretty standard practice in this industry. United Express has operations running from Chicago’s O’Hare airport and the Washington-Dulles airport. They currently operate a number of Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft. It is accurate to refer to United Express airline, and others in the Mesa Air Group, as sub-brands of Mesa.
January 2011 was an interesting month as Mesa went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a short amount of time, just three months. Mesa eliminated 100 planes and their leases from their fleet during these three months. The action Mesa took was very strategic because it allowed them to be free of the debt the aircraft had attached to them. The balance of their planes, the Dash 8 aircraft and the Bombardier CRJ200′s, was also refinanced. Decreasing their long term debt, which was caused by prolonged leases, was the effect of their actions. Mesa Airlines is a typical success story of a new airline that has a humble start. In order to make an airline truly successful you must spend a lot of time on it. The profit margins of airlines are often much lower than most businesses would expect. However the people who do this sort of thing know and understand the risks beforehand. Mesa’s past certainly shows how any type of business must react when faced with economic difficulties, and use all of the resources available to them to ensure a profitable business and growth.
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