ATLANTA, June 10, 2002—Florida customers will receive expanded jet service when new Delta Connection carrier Chautauqua Airlines begins flying in November, 2002. Chautauqua will become the fifth regional carrier participating in the Delta Connection system, and will serve Florida markets with a total of 22 Embraer regional jets by the end of 2003.
“This new agreement significantly increases the number of jets and flights for our customers traveling to and from Florida cities, as we retire our fleet of Embraer Brasilia turboprops operated by Delta Connection carrier Comair,” said Fred Buttrell, president and chief executive officer, Delta Connection, Inc. Chautauqua, based in Indianapolis, joins Delta Connection carriers Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Comair, Atlantic Coast Airlines and SkyWest Airlines in providing regional service for the Delta network.
Chautauqua’s jets, powered by Rolls-Royce AE 3007 engines, are scheduled for delivery from October 2002 through December 2003, with options for 30 additional aircraft. The fleet will consist primarily of 37-passenger regional jets suited for the market demand in Florida.
Delta Connection carrier Comair, which has a hub in Orlando and flies throughout Florida, will continue to operate a limited regional jet schedule in Florida. Comair is phasing out seven 30-seat Embraer turboprop aircraft from Florida service by October 2002, and will become an all-jet airline.
“We are very pleased to join the Delta Connection family of quality, regional carriers,” said Bryan Bedford, president and chief executive officer of Chautauqua Airlines. “Our airline has an excellent tradition of delivering safe and reliable service to our customers and partners. We look forward to bringing our vast experience of operating the Embraer regional jet to the Delta Connection Orlando operation.”
Chautauqua Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, Inc., which is wholly owned by Wexford Capital LLC, a Greenwich, Conn.-based manager of investment funds. Chautauqua offers scheduled passenger service on approximately 355 flights daily to 42 cities in 18 states and Canada through codesharing agreements with three major U.S. airlines. The all-jet airline currently operates a fleet of 50 Embraer regional jets, including 38 ERJ-145s and 12 ERJ-140s. All of its flights are operated as AmericanConnection, America West Express or US Airways Express. The airline employs more than 1,300 aviation professionals.
Delta Connection includes wholly owned subsidiaries Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Comair, additional regional carriers Atlantic Coast Airlines, Chautauqua Airlines and SkyWest Airlines, and codeshare partner American Eagle. Delta Connection carriers operate more than 250 regional jets throughout North America. For more information, please contact Delta Reservations, 1-800-221-1212, or visit delta.com.