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Mesa Airlines - A Dazzling Prospect with Creative Innovations

Author: Dennis Reynolds

Mesa Airlines - A Bright Future with New Beginnings

An entire book can be written about Mesa Airlines, and there is enough history since they opened their doors in 1980. A lot of hard graft was put in to allow this airline to develop and increase their fleet of aircraft. Things really changed for Mesa Airlines after the September 11 attacks on NY, as they decided to seize control of their future. Even though the airline had to enter bankruptcy briefly, they have maintained profitable quarters each year since the end of 2001. The company has earned their wings through many battles, and their corporate leadership is perhaps as good as can be found anywhere.

Back in 1980 Mesa Airlines was born thanks to two people, Larry and Jane Risley. For the next 5 years Mesa Airlines (or Mesa Air Shuttle, as it was renamed in 1982) had flights from both New Mexico and Albuquerque. After some time the company relocated their main hub to Arizona and started looking for partners to share codes with. All major airlines were involved with sharing codes as it is common between all major and minor airlines in the industry. Eventually Mesa did a code sharing agreement with America West Airlines in 1992.

Mesa's code sharing agreement led to the airline United Express being created. Revenue is guaranteed by doing code sharing deals like this, and it's a common practice in the industry. Bombardier CRJ700's are the aircraft of choice for United Express, and they have 2 hubs in Washington-Dulles airport and the O'Hare airport in Chicago. A number of airlines working for Mesa Air Group, including United Express, are simply sub-brands of Mesa.

Code shares and mergers are even harder to figure out with the smaller delivery outfits. This is the usual practice in the aviation trade.

In 2005, an airline connected to Mesa, America West Airlines, joined with US Airways. Meanwhile Mesa is tied in with the US Airways Group given the code share arrangement. Mesa remains as US Airways Express nevertheless, in view of yet another code share deal. Ultimately, this enables Mesa to continue serving the area with a dependable, beneficial delivery business. Mesa Airlines’ story is very typical of the airlines that has started from very modest beginnings. As you most likely know, building an airline and taking it to new heights requires plenty of time. Airlines tend to have low profit margins, and in addition to that the industry is very responsive to business cycles. However the people who do this sort of thing know and understand the risks beforehand. What Mesa Airlines has done in its past is a wonderful example of how businesses should respond to economic problems to ensure both future growth and profitability.
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