Challenges Carrier's Efforts to Terminate Contract
They're gonna fight. Mesa Air Group announced this week on March
28, 2008, Delta Air Lines notified the regional carrier of its
intent to terminate the Delta Connection Agreement among Delta,
Mesa, and Mesa's wholly-owned subsidiary, Freedom Airlines, Inc.
dated as of May 3, 2005.
Delta seeks to terminate the Connection Agreement as a result of
Freedom's alleged failure to maintain a specified completion rate
with respect to its ERJ-145 Delta Connection flights during three
months of the six-month period September 2007 through February
2008. The notice issued by Delta is accompanied by a proposed
temporary agreement pursuant to which Freedom would continue to
provide Delta Connection services while the parties discuss the
terms of a transition agreement. This termination does not affect
Freedom's CRJ-900 Delta Connection flying.
Mesa tells ANN it vehemently denies there is any basis for
terminating the Connection Agreement and intends to vigorously
fight to keep it.
Furthermore, Mesa asserts the
alleged failure to maintain the specified completion rate in the
contract is due to Delta's own request to remove flights to benefit
Delta's overall operation and/or to accommodate Delta mainline
flights. These flights, among others, have always been taken out of
Freedom's performance calculations in the past and Delta acted
consistent with this practice and has paid Mesa both its base
margin and its incentive margin after crediting Mesa for the Delta
mandated schedule changes and /or cancellations.
"We are confident that Delta's actions are not supported by the
terms of the Connection Agreement, that we have complied with all
of our obligations under that agreement, and that Delta's effort to
terminate the agreement will not be upheld in a court of law." said
Mesa Air Group Chairman and CEO Jonathan Ornstein.
Mesa currently operates 182 aircraft with over 1,000 daily
system departures to 157 cities, 42 states, the District of
Columbia, Canada, the Bahamas and Mexico. Mesa operates as Delta
Connection, US Airways Express and United Express under contractual
agreements with Delta Air Lines, US Airways and United Airlines,
respectively, and independently as Mesa Airlines and go!.
As of November 2007, Freedom operated 36 Embraer 145LR, 50-seat
aircraft and two Bombardier 76 seat CRJ-900s for Delta Connection
under separate agreements.