Continental opts for Chautauqua

Continental Airlines has selected Chautauqua Airlines to operate up to 69 regional jets that will be withdrawn from its capacity purchase agreement with ExpressJet Airlines, should ExpressJet choose to return those aircraft to Continental.ExpressJet is required to notify Continental by Sept. 28, 2006 whether it will return any or all of the aircraft to Continental, or continue to sublease the aircraft at increased lease rates from Continental and fly them outside of Continental’s hubs under a brand other than Continental Express, as permitted by the capacity purchase agreement.

Chautauqua, a subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, will operate any aircraft returned by ExpressJet as a second Continental Express carrier at each of Continental’s domestic hubs—Newark Liberty, Houston and Cleveland. Continental Airlines will continue to schedule and market all its regional jet service as it does today.

“We are proud to announce our selection of Chautauqua Airlines,” said Mark Erwin, Continental’s senior vice president-corporate development. “Chautauqua is a very high quality operator, and we look forward to working with them.”

“We are very pleased to be joining the Continental team,” said Bryan Bedford, chairman, president and CEO of Republic Airways Holdings, parent company of Chautauqua Airlines. “Chautauqua Airlines has a long tradition of quality service and we look forward to delivering our award winning service to Continental customers.”