Delta ends ACA feeder deal; ACA adds two more Airbus
Darren Shannon, Washington DC (06Apr04)
Delta Air Lines will end its regional feeder contract with Atlantic Coast Airlines (ACA
) in October, marking the end of ACA
’s connection with US mainline carriers.
The termination comes one day after ACA
and United Airlines announced the end of their own fee-per-departure feeder deal in August. ACA
is now wholly dependant on revenue from its planned low-cost affiliate Independence Air, which is schedule to begin service in June.
Contractual terms obligate Delta to assume the leases on all 30 Fairchild Dornier 328JET aircraft, a condition ACA
was expected to enforce. In a statement, ACA
says Delta will integrate the ten aircraft currently operated by ACA
from Boston to Delta Connections’ Cincinnati hub operations, and discontinuing all of ACA
’s New York JFK
According to ACA
chairman and CEO Kerry Skeen, the airline “plan[s] to use at least some of the time we have during the [180 day] notice period to review and evaluate our options for the 328JETs before finalizing any decisions.”
Meanwhile, Delta in a separate statement paints a slightly different picture. “The 30 [jet] aircraft currently flown by ACA
are expected to remain in the Delta Connection carrier program, but will be operated by another carrier. Delta Connection is working to finalize the specifics of the program transition,” the mainline carrier says.
Additionally, Delta Connection carrier Comair will some move aircraft to Delta’s Northeast markets to replace the routes currently operated by ACA
“Reallocating aircraft between the Northeast and Cincinnati helps us to prepare for the upcoming transition,” says Delta Connection president and CEO Fred Buttrell. “The aircraft reallocation will also increase the size of Delta Connection regional jet aircraft operating in Boston markets from 32 to 50 seats.”
has participated in the Delta Connection program since 1999, and began operating as a partner in August 2000.
’s Kleen: “Our decision to become an independent low-fare airline means that our focus going forward will not be on fee-per-departure relationships that rely on other companies’ brands and business models. We believe that this decision by Delta will significantly simplify our overall operation and allow us to focus 100% of our management and employee attention on our new Independence Air service.
“The benefit to our customers is that the entire company can now be based solely on providing excellent low-fare service under our own Independence Air brand from Washington and Northern Virginia to destinations across America,” adds Kleen.
Separately, Independence Air confirmed two more Airbus A319 orders. These two aircraft, to be leased from International Lease Finance (ILFC) and delivered in the second quarter of 2005, increase the airline’s Airbus fleet to 27 aircraft.
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