Unique Original Articles » Mesa Airlines’ Long and Eventful History

Mesa Airlines’ Long and Eventful History

Author: Dennis Reynolds

Mesa Airlines - Looking Into Smart Business Practices

An entire book can be written about Mesa Airlines, and there is enough history since they opened their doors in 1980. The airline definitely put in a lot of work to ensure the growth and expansion of the company and their planes. But it really was not until the events of 9/11 that Mesa took decisive control over their destiny. From the end of 2001 until now the company has reveled in every year being profitable, regardless of the fact that they had to go bankrupt for a few months. The powerful leadership the company has shown is certainly outstanding and it has earned its praise through overcoming many difficulties.

Mesa Airlines was born as a part of the company JB Aviation by Jane and Larry Risley in 1980. For over five years the airline had operations running from Albuquerque and New Mexico after changing its name to Mesa Air Shuttle in 1982. The company then moved over to their primary head quarters based in Phoenix and they then looked for code sharing partners. The practice of code sharing agreements is extremely common within the airlines industry and all major and minor airlines do it. A code share agreement was reached between America West Airlines and Mesa in 1992, allowing them to move forward.

The beginnings of Mesa Airlines was very humble, as to start off they just had one plane. The company grew, and by the end of the first ten years of being in business they had expanded to a fleet of 38 aircraft taking people to 63 US cities. They also went public from a private corporation to being traded on the NASDAQ exchange. The end of the 1980s saw a code share agreement and partnership with Midwest Express Airlines. Mesa could now offer services to passengers flying out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mesa obtained a very valuable code sharing partnership with United Airlines, letting them create United Express which let them fly out of Denver, Colorado.

Mesa formed a partnership with a major airline in 2003. The airline in question was the well known United Airlines. This specific deal enabled Mesa to start up operations from a number of new airports, one of them being Denver. And so, from this new code share agreement, a brand new sub-brand was born: United Express Airlines. At this moment, United Express are solely using Bombardier aircraft for their services. The end of 2009 bought the end of use for the Dash 8 aircraft, which was simply a decision the management wanted to make.

The condition of Mesa's finances in March 2011, when they emerged from the bankruptcy, were great. They have been able to continue profitable operations since that time servicing regional destinations in the US. Key managers have been bought back into the company because of their experiences with Mesa.
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