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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 10:57 am

Consolidation/Mergers Of Regional Carriers

Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:29 am

As our industry seeks consolidation through mergers and acquisitions, I can't help but speculate what may ultimately happen to regional and commuter airlines. As the legacy and LCC carrier seek to combine, it only stands to reason that the smaller carriers must follow suit to reduce gross overcapacity in their sector.

Even some wholly-owned regionals (i.e. Pinnacle, Comair, Piedmont) are redundant with independent commuters. As the industry consolidates, and certain regional carriers consolidate and/or eliminate, could we eventually see an environment where the likes of Independence Air could potentially flourish, but with more of a P2P route network?

Let's see what regionals we have flying around in the US alone:

American Eagle
Trans States
Mesa/Freedom/Air Midwest/go
Air Wisconsin
Republic/Chautauqua/Shuttle America
Gulfstream International
Compass (to be launched)
Big Sky
Great Lakes

Something's gotta give.

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RE: Consolidation/Mergers Of Regional Carriers

Mon Dec 18, 2006 2:11 pm

As a former Regex guy, I could see the CEO of Great Lakes and his company buying out Regions. That would be a hoot.

Anywho seriously, I could see Pinnacle and Mesaba merging. Mesaba is becoming a laughing stock of its former self.

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RE: Consolidation/Mergers Of Regional Carriers

Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:14 pm

I've said all along that there are too many regionals and not enough work. If US/DL, UA/CO team up airlines like Republic and Mesa will end up losing in the long run. There is no way they will keep their regional fleets the same. Some of the regionals just need to go away.

I guess if I had to see anything - Air Wisconsin/PSA partner - maybe a few of the smaller join up Regions/Colgan/Comute Air - they are all so small that if they became one might give them more options.

I don't see Piedmont joining anyone - but if US Airways wanted to make some cash and lose the liability of the regionals - sell PSA and Piedmont.
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