America West Airlines (NYSE: AWA) today
announced a new codeshare agreement with Mesa Airlines to provide America West
Express regional airline service. The new agreement will supplement existing
arrangements between America West and Mesa by providing a more convenient
schedule for America West connections, significant growth opportunities for
both airlines and increased travel opportunities for America West and America
West Express passengers. The Mesa agreement, which is initially focused on
America West`s Phoenix Sky Harbor International hub but contemplates adding
regional operations at the Airline`s hubs in Las Vegas and Columbus, Ohio,
will be in effect through August 2004.
“We are very pleased with our new codeshare agreement with Mesa Airlines,”
said William A. Franke, chairman. “Not only have we successfully restored our
relationship with Mesa but we have designed an expanded agreement which will
grow and extend the reach of America West service and provide significant
benefits for our customers and the shareholders of America West Holdings and
Mesa Air Group.”
“The new Mesa agreement is a key component of America West`s plan to
continue to grow the Airline and strengthen the Phoenix hub,” said Richard
Goodmanson, president and chief executive officer. “The new arrangements will
allow increased frequencies to existing regional markets and bring America
West service to new smaller and mid-sized cities. The result will be
increased connecting traffic to support the growth of our mainline jet
The new arrangements offer America West customers three significant
improvements over existing America West Express service. First, the America
West Express schedule will be retimed to improve connections with America West
flights, making travel between America West Express cities and America West`s
major business markets and popular leisure destinations significantly more
Second, most America West Express routes will be served by Mesa`s larger
and more comfortable aircraft with 50-seat Canadair Regional Jets (CRJs) and
37-seat deHavilland DHC-8s turboprops (Dash 8s) replacing many of the 19-seat
Hawker-Beech 1900 aircraft, historically the mainstay of the America West
Third, the number of CRJs and Dash 8s committed to the America West
Express regional operation will be increased to 12 and 14, respectively, by
the end of 1999 with options to continue to expand both fleets in 2000-2001.
The increased number of aircraft and the longer range of the CRJs and Dash 8s
will allow the America West Express system to grow to include new markets
throughout the United States and northern Mexico.
America West began its codeshare alliance with Mesa in October 1992.
America West Express currently flies to 19 cities in Arizona, California,
Colorado, Iowa and New Mexico. The expansion of service will begin with
increased frequencies to Des Moines, Iowa and Fresno, Calif. starting in
August. This fall, America West Express will begin new non-stop service to
Bakersfield, Calif.; Gunnison, Hayden/Steamboat Springs and Eagle/Vail, Colo.
and, pending government approval, Hermisillo and Guaymas, Mexico.
“The new service to Colorado and Mexico, combined with the existing
America West Express service to Aspen, Durango, Montrose and Telluride, Colo.,
and Palm Springs and Santa Barbara, Calif., is an example of the additional
opportunities for vacation travel available to our customers,” said John
Garel, president and chief executive officer of The Leisure Company, the
leisure travel subsidiary of America West Holdings.
America West Airlines, the nation`s ninth largest carrier, serves more
than 90 destinations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For the second
consecutive year, America West ranked the number one carrier in customer
satisfaction for short flights in the Frequent Flyer magazine/J.D. Power and
Associates Airline Customer Satisfaction Study—U.S. Flights. America West
also ranked number one in baggage handling as recorded in the 1997 Air Travel
Consumer Report published by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
America West Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of America West
Holdings Corporation, an aviation and travel services company with 1997 sales
of $1.9 billion.
This press release, as well as releases issued in the past year by America
West Holdings and its affiliates, can be accessed on the America West Internet
site at http://www.americawest.com.