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Mesa Airlines and The Mesa Air Group - A Profitable Partnership

Author: Dennis Reynolds

Mesa Airlines’ Long and Interesting History

Mesa Airlines has a very colorful history going back over thirty years. It's history includes many transformations, undoubtedly more than any other company. This certainly asserts the company's perseverance to do well in business. The Mesa Group and Mesa Airlines can be used interchangeably and sometimes are by people. Mesa Group is made up of many smaller airlines, which includes Mesa Airlines. Mesa Group declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy however as of 2011 they have reorganized their activities. Now, they and Mesa Airlines are much leaner and poised to continue aggressive business growth.

Mesa Airlines is a part of Mesa Group and you can use the name interchangeably, so if you read about Mesa Group it means Mesa Airlines. Only recently this year did the Mesa Group come out of bankruptcy, however they are now ready to continue their operations. The reasons for them declaring bankruptcy was so that they could scale down the size of their fleet and pay off some of their debt. What is amazing is they were in bankruptcy proceedings for only about three months. This is most likely the shortest amount of time any airline has ever been in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy court.

One plane that flew between two cities was all that Mesa Airlines had in the very beginning. 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. They went from a corporation that was private to one that was public, and they started trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange. A code share deal was brokered between Mesa Airlines and Midwest Express airlines in the 80's. This deal let Mesa Airline grow by allowing them to run an operation from Milwaukee in 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.

For a very short period of time in January 2011, Mesa started Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. The company was able to eliminate one hundred excess aircraft along with the leases for those aircraft. The action Mesa took was very strategic because it allowed them to be free of the debt the aircraft had attached to them. As well as doing this Mesa was able to change the finance for both their Dash 8 aircraft and their CRJ200's. The actions of Mesa allowed them to reduce their debts and also cut down on costs in their fleet.

The condition of Mesa's finances in March 2011, when they emerged from the bankruptcy, were great. Because Mesa have a wide range of operations all along the USA they have ensured they keep making a profit. Important management personnel were also bought back into Mesa Airlines because of their extensive experience with the company.
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