Unique Original Articles » Mesa Airlines’ Long and Interesting History

Mesa Airlines’ Long and Interesting History

Author: Dennis Reynolds

Mesa Airlines’ Long and Interesting History

With a thirty year history Mesa Airlines has a very colorful past. They have certainly changed dramatically throughout the years, certainly more than most companies. But that also attests to their resiliency and sheer determination to succeed. Mesa Airlines is sometimes used interchangeably with the Mesa Group which is a consortium of smaller airlines that includes Mesa Airlines. Chapter 11 bankruptcy was declared by the Mesa Group however as of 2011 they are now fully operational again. Now, they and Mesa Airlines are much leaner and poised to continue aggressive business growth.

Both Mesa Group and Mesa Airlines are part of the same company, so it's not uncommon to see the two names being used synonymously. Only recently this year did the Mesa Group come out of bankruptcy, however they are now ready to continue their operations. They went into bankruptcy in order to cut down on the size of their fleet, as well as trim their debts. One thing to point out is the bankruptcy process just took three months to complete. The short amount of time they spent in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy court may actually be the least ever spent by an airline.

In the beginning Mesa Airlines had just one plane that ran flights between two different cities. By the end of the first ten years of business, they had 38 aircraft flying passengers to 63 cities in the US as a regional carrier. Additionally they started to do trading on the stock exchange as they had moved over from being a private corporation. A code sharing agreement was reached between Mesa and Midwest Express by the end of the 1980's. That partnership allowed Mesa to expand and serve passengers flying out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Then, in 1990, Mesa was able to gain a valuable code share partnership with United Airlines thus paving the way for the creation of United Express flying out of Denver Colorado.

January 2011 was an interesting month as Mesa went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy for a short amount of time, just three months. The company was able to eliminate one hundred excess aircraft along with the leases for those aircraft. It was a very crucial step for Mesa, because it let them get rid of the debt that was associated with the planes. The balance of their Dash 8 aircraft and their Bombardier CRJ200's was also refinanced. In doing this their aim was to lower their debt, and to reduce all possible costs for their fleet inventory. Mesa Airlines is a typical success story of a new airline that has a humble start. As you can imagine, it takes time to develop and expand an airline business. Airlines tend to have low profit margins, and in addition to that the industry is very responsive to business cycles. The people behind creating airlines already know of and accept these rules before they take up this sort of task. Sustaining growth of a business and the profits are very important when faced with rough economic times, however Mesa's history shows how it should be done.
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