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Mesa Sells Six CRJ-900s, Transitions Some E175s to SkyWest

The regional operator has transitioned nine United-owned Embraer E175s to SkyWest this year.

A Mesa Airlines CRJ-900 in Phoenix (Photo: Shutterstock)

Mesa Airlines announced that it completed the sale of six CRJ-900s and 10 associated engines as part of its Regional Aircraft Securitization Program (RASPRO). The batch is part of 15 surplus aircraft and 30 powerplants set to go to two unnamed third parties.

In Q1 2024, the Phoenix-based carrier’s revenue was down 19% compared to the same period last year. The company posted a $57.9 million net loss last quarter.

The airline says it has reduced its lease purchase obligations from $50.4 million to $27.3 million as of late May.

“Addressing the RASPRO lease has been one of the top priorities for our surplus asset sale efforts over the past year-and-a-half,” said Jonathan Ornstein, Mesa’s Chairman and CEO, in a press release. “This is a significant financial obligation that we are putting behind us, and we are increasingly able to prioritize the future of the company for our investors and people. We look forward to enhancing our focus on returning to profitable performance and executing other strategic actions while closing the remaining transactions related to the RASPRO assets in the coming months.”

Mesa has 69 active aircraft in its fleet, including 17 CRJ-900s and 52 Embraer E175s. After ending its contract with American in early 2023, the regional carrier exclusively flies under the United Express brand.

In February 2024, Mesa and DHL ‘mutually agreed’ to end their partnership, citing a reduction in cargo demand. Mesa had operated two 737-400s for DHL since 2020.

Transitioning E175s to SkyWest

In its Q1 2024 earnings call, fellow regional operator SkyWest announced that it would receive 20 additional E175s owned by United. The carrier’s commercial chief Wade Steel said these jets would come from another United Express carrier, but did not specify which.

“During the quarter, we announced a new flying agreement for 20 United-owned E175s to replace 20 CRJ200s under our United contract. These aircraft are coming from another United Express carrier,” Steel shared.

Per Cirium Fleet Analyzer data, these aircraft appear to be coming from Mesa. So far this year, nine E175s have been transitioned from Mesa to SkyWest.

The Utah-based regional carrier says it expects to transition all 20 E175s by the end of the year.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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