Founded 1986 - Merged into SkyWest 2012
Continental Express/ExpressJet was at one time a wholly owned subsidiary of Continental Airlines, Inc. In this previous incarnation before its divestiture Continental Express flew turbo-prop aircraft such as the Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia,Convair 580, ATR 42/72, de Havilland Canada Dash 7, Fokker F27 and Beechcraft 1900. Continental Express/ExpressJet was formed through the merger of four separate commuter airlines that were wholly owned by Continental: Provincetown-Boston Airlines, of Hyannis, MA, Bar Harbor Airlines, of Bangor, ME, Britt Airways, of Terre Haute, IN, and Rocky Mountain Airways, of Denver, CO. As part of the consolidation of the four commuter operations, the PBA and Rocky Mountain operating certificates were retired. The Bar Harbor certificate went to Eastern Airlines for its Florida Eastern Express division. The combined company that became Continental Express/ExpressJet operated under the Britt Airways operating certificate until November 2011, at which time all ExpressJet operations became part of the Atlantic Southeast Airlines certificate. Continental Express also served Continental's Denver and Guam hubs until the early 1990s.
Continental Express was formed in 1987. Since the 1978 deregulation of the U.S. airline industry, U.S. carriers increasingly contracted flying to smaller destinations to small regional carriers; David Messing, a spokesperson with Continental Airlines Holdings in 1991, said that Continental Express was formed because, from a business standpoint, having one subsidiary airline for Continental was preferable to the previous scenario of numerous agreements with various smaller airlines.
In the 1990s the airline was headquartered in the Gateway II office complex near the grounds of Houston Intercontinental Airport in Houston.
On Thursday September 4, 1997, Continental Express had its first regional jet flight. On Sunday September 7, 1997 Continental Express moved its operations at Bush Intercontinental Airport from Terminal C to Terminal B.
In the past, Trans-Colorado Airlines of Denver, CO, Royale Airlines of Shreveport, LA, Air New Orleans, of Birmingham, AL, Mid-Pacific Airlines, of Honolulu, HI, City Express, of Toronto, Ontario, Colgan Airways, of Manassas, VA, Southern Jersey Airways, of Atlantic City New Jersey, and Gull Air, of Hyannis, MA, have operated non-jet aircraft using the Continental Express brand name.
ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. is an American airline based in College Park, Georgia, USA in Greater Atlanta. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc., parent company of the air carrier SkyWest Airlines. Before the acquisition from SkyWest it was an independent airline, and previously, a subsidiary of Continental Airlines. ExpressJet Airlines, Inc., originally Continental Express, Inc., was a Delaware corporation.
Although an autonomous business entity since its divestiture from Continental Airlines, Inc. in 2002, it continued to operate as Continental Express for Continental Airlines from hubs at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark, New Jersey, and Hopkins International Airport, Cleveland, Ohio. Its training center is on the grounds of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.
In August 2010, SkyWest Inc. agreed to merge with ExpressJet Holdings, whereby SkyWest Inc.'s wholly owned subsidiary, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, would purchase ExpressJet for $6.75 per share. Atlantic Southeast Airlines and ExpressJet became the world's largest regional airline on November 12, 2010 once the purchase was final. The self-proclaimed "Super Regional" airline is based in Atlanta.
On November 22, 2011, both ExpressJet and Atlantic Southeast Airlines achieved a single operating certificate that allowed them to operate as one carrier. Effective December 31, 2011, all flights began operating under the name ExpressJet making it the largest regional airline in the world with more than 400 aircraft. ExpressJet currently operates as American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express.
The airline was established in 1986 and started operations in 1987. Its origins were in a group of small commuter airlines acquired by Texas Air Corporation / Continental Airlines. These included Bar Harbor Airlines in Maine, Provincetown-Boston Airlines in New England, Rocky Mountain Airways in Denver, Colorado, and Britt Airways in Terre Haute, Indiana. Express Jet operates under the original Federal Aviation Administration Part 121 certificate issued to Britt, which began operations as Continental Express in April 1987 and was later acquired by Continental Airlines. ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. incorporated in 1996.
ExpressJet was spun off from Continental in 2002. Afterwards the company began plans to move into a corporate headquarters location. ExpressJet has over 8,000 employees. ExpressJet Holdings also owns American Composites LLC, Saltillo Jet Center, and InTech Aerospace Services. Together with other facilities throughout the U.S. they make up ExpressJet Services which provides third-party maintenance, repair and overhaul services for a variety of aircraft types. ExpressJet Holdings also has non-controlling interests in Wings Holdings LLC 49% and Flight Services and Systems Inc 44%.
Before ExpressJet became independent, it was headquartered in Continental Center I in Downtown Houston.
Following a December 2005 decision by Continental to reduce ExpressJet's Continental Express flying by 69 aircraft, the airline elected to operate the aircraft independently. On December 31, 2006, the airline began its charter operation. It currently operates 6 aircraft for charter services under the Corporate Aviation Division. On February 5, 2007, the airline announced service to 24 cities in the west coast, southwest, and midwest regions of the United States beginning in April 2007.
On April 2, 2007, the airline began point-to-point services under its own name from locations throughout the USA. The airline had a total of 42 aircraft in their branded operation. According to ExpressJet CEO James Ream, LA/Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California (alternate airport to nearby Los Angeles International Airport) would become the airline's "biggest center of operation".
Continental Center I, Continental Airlines's headquarters in Downtown Houston, formerly housed ExpressJet's headquarters
In March 2007, ExpressJet operated four of its Embraer 145 jets on JetBlue routes while JetBlue's Embraer 190 jets were being serviced.
In June 2007, the airline began service at Los Angeles International Airport to western ski markets and Mexico on behalf of Delta Air Lines under the Delta Connection banner using 10 EMB 145XR aircraft. In July 2007, the agreement was increased to 18 aircraft. In July 2008, the agreement was terminated and ExpressJet ended all Delta Connection flying by September 1. A few days after announcing the end of its agreement with Delta, ExpressJet announced on July 8, 2008, that it would also end its independent ExpressJet-branded flying on September 2 due to the oil price increases since 2003. This resulted in the furlough of 347 pilots.
In September 2007, the airline agreed to provide feeder service for Frontier Airlines from Denver International Airport while federal certification for Frontier's Lynx Aviation turboprop subsidiary was underway. ExpressJet flew to 5 cities from Frontier's Denver hub using 50-seat ERJ 145 regional jets until Frontier's subsidiary, Lynx Aviation, received DOT approval in December 2007. As of December 7, ExpressJet discontinued providing feeder service for Frontier Airlines.
On August 21, 2009, an incident occurred where passengers were forced to stay on a parked plane at Rochester, Minnesota for six hours with no food and overflowing toilets. The airline crew tried over thirty times to call the contract carrier, Delta Connection, (which services the Rochester airport) to let the passengers off. The agents for the regional Mesaba Airlines refused. The Department of Transportation cited the main cause of the incident as the Mesaba Airlines station's refusal to park the aircraft. However, Continental Airlines and ExpressJet were also fined for the part they played in the incident.
ExpressJet began a temporary contract with United Airlines to fly as a United Express carrier beginning in June 2009. The contract was for approximately 10 aircraft that operated out of United's O'Hare and Washington (Dulles) hub. The aircraft were flown in ExpressJet livery. The contract ended on September 2, 2009.
In late 2010 ExpressJet signed a multiple year contract with United Airlines for 22 ERJ-145 aircraft. The aircraft were flown, for the first time, in full United Express colors. Additionally, 10 more ERJ-145s; in ExpressJet colors, operated for United during the peak Summer travel season in 2010. The first flights under this new contract started December 1, 2009 and all 22 aircraft were in United Express service by Spring 2010.
In May 2010, ExpressJet began operating Branson AirExpress, non-stop air service between Branson, Missouri and Houston, Texas; Austin, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Des Moines, Iowa; Shreveport, Louisiana and Terre Haute, Indiana; Chicago Midway and Indianapolis. ExpressJet last flight operating under Branson Air Express was on Oct 30 2010.
ExpressJet operated its own point-to-point service with its main hub at LA/Ontario International Airport in Ontario, California. This service ended on September 2, 2008.
In April 2008, SkyWest, Inc. proposed an acquisition of ExpressJet at a price of $3.50/share. ExpressJet Holdings Inc. said its special committee unanimously rejected the proposal. SkyWest rescinded the offer in early June after ExpressJet Holdings and Continental signed a new 7-year Capacity Purchase Agreement. This proposal was ultimately not successful.
On November 12, 2010, the financial transaction between Atlantic Southeast Airlines (a subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc.) and ExpressJet was closed. Thus as a legal entity the original (legacy) ExpressJet airlines effectively ceased to exist. Atlantic Southeast Airlines continued to operate ExpressJet during that time under the terms of their then current operating certificate with the FAA as "ExpressJet Airlines" while a new name for the recently merged companies was being considered.
In July 2011, the name "SureJet", with the tagline, "Ally, Partner, Friend" was revealed. However, the almost instantaneous universal ridicule and derision resulted in the withdrawal of the SureJet name within 2 days.
In October 2011, the employees of ExpressJet and Atlantic Southeast Airlines voted to keep the name ExpressJet as the combined airlines new name, while Atlantic Southeast's "Acey" callsign would remain.
In October 2013, ExpressJet opened a new crew domicile in Kansas City, Missouri, at Kansas City International Airport.