Sunday, May 18, 2008

Air Midwest to shut down passenger service

Air Midwest, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mesa Air Group, will begin shutting down its passenger services later this week. The company cites record-high fuel prices, insufficient demand and a difficult operating environment as the main factors in its decision, according to a news release issued by Mesa.

Mesa, which had been operating Air Midwest scheduled services with Beech 1900D aircraft under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, announced the following shut down schedule:
  • Effective May 23rd, east coast operations serving Lewisburg, WV; DuBois, PA; Franklin, PA; and Athens, GA.
  • Effective May 31st, west coast operations serving Ely, NV; Merced, CA; Visalia, CA; Prescott, AZ; Kingman, AZ; and Farmington, NM.
  • Effective June 30th, central operations serving Columbia, MO; Joplin, MO; Kirksville, MO; Grand Island, NE; McCook, NE; Little Rock, AR; Hot Springs, AR; Harrison, AR; El Dorado, AR; and Jonesboro, AR
"We are extremely saddened this decision has become necessary; Air Midwest has a long and proud history and has served millions of passengers in its 43 years of operation," said Jonathan Ornstein, CEO of Mesa Air Group. "Unfortunately under the current economic conditions there was no foreseeable way to achieve sustained profitability. Even with subsidies from the DOT, Air Midwest has been unable to sustain profitability for the last several years. While this was an extremely difficult decision, and one that the company worked tirelessly to avoid, we are working diligently to minimize the impact this decision will have on Air Midwest's passengers and employees."