This was sent out this morning via the company website:
A message from John Spanjers
Yesterday we filed a Notice of Withdrawal with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to signal that Colgan will not bid to renew Essential Air Service (EAS) flying that we operate on behalf of United Express. We currently serve these markets with Saab aircraft out of Washington Dulles (IAD
) and Bush Intercontinental in Houston (IAH
). These EAS markets are:
• Altoona, PA (AOO)
• Johnstown, PA (JST
• Staunton, VA – Shenandoah Valley (SHD
• Beckley, WV
• Clarksburg, WV
• Morgantown, WV
• Victoria, TX
This decision is part of our ongoing efforts to improve operating efficiency and ultimately performance. Eliminating service to these markets will allow us to concentrate our network and focus more resources in the primary areas of our operations.
It’s important to note that we continue to serve these markets for now. Due to EAS regulations, we will remain in these markets until the DOT selects a replacement carrier and a transition date is agreed upon. The earliest we might exit these markets is 90 days from now, and if a new carrier is not selected within the 90-day window we are required to continue service until a new carrier is ready to begin operations. Ultimately, today’s announcement means business as usual for the time being.
We are communicating with every employee who will be impacted when we eventually do exit these markets. Wherever possible we’re working to provide other opportunities for those employees who are interested in staying with Pinnacle Airlines Corp. Those who aren’t interested or able to find other opportunities will be offered a stay incentive in order to maintain safe, reliable operations through the last scheduled day of flying.
Remaining Colgan flying
This decision, combined with our previously-announced decision to eliminate our pro-rate flying with US Airways, will leave Colgan with non-EAS Saab flying out of IAD
supporting United Express. Those Saabs currently serve more than 20 markets. Colgan also operates our Q400s for United Express.
Additionally, Colgan continues to currently serve the US Airways EAS markets of Plattsburg, NY (PBG
), Presque Isle, ME (PQI
), and Bar Harbor, ME (BHB), along with a daily flight from Boston (BOS
) to Albany (ALB
) to provide those Saabs a flow into our maintenance facility in ALB
. Earlier this week the DOT announced it has selected replacement carriers for these EAS markets, but the timeline for them to begin service has not been set. When the replacement carriers take over those markets, Colgan will no longer operate flights for US Airways.
This will be a difficult milestone in our history. Colgan has been flying for US Airways since 1999, and we’ve maintained a great relationship with them throughout the years.
It’s never easy to end a relationship with a great partner like US Airways, but ultimately these changes are necessary to continue creating a more efficient and reliable network.
We’ll continue to provide updates as we learn more about the progress on selecting replacement carriers for these EAS markets.
What does everyone think about this? I dont see this as a very good thing.