CommuteAir
IATA ICAO Callsign
C5 UCA COMMUTEAIR
Founded1989; 35 years ago (1989)
Commenced operationsAugust 1, 1989; 34 years ago (1989-08-01)
AOC #JJBA987B[1]
Hubs
Frequent-flyer programMileagePlus
AllianceStar Alliance (affiliate)
Fleet size64
Destinations75+
HeadquartersNorth Olmsted, Ohio
Key people
Employees1,500 +
Websitewww.commuteair.com

CommuteAir is a regional airline of the United States founded in 1989. Today, CommuteAir operates more than 1600 weekly flights, exclusively on behalf of United Express, serving over 75 U.S. destinations and 3 in Mexico. CommuteAir's fleet of Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft fly from its bases at Denver, Washington–Dulles, and Houston–Intercontinental. The company was previously called CommutAir until July 26, 2022, when it legally changed its name to the present-day CommuteAir.[2]

History

United Express Embraer ERJ-145 operated by CommuteAir
United Express Bombardier DHC-8 formerly operated by CommutAir
Facing forward in the passenger cabin of a CommutAir Beechcraft 1900D

The airline was established in 1989, with headquarters at Clinton County Airport in Plattsburgh, New York. Operations began on August 1, 1989, as a marketing affiliate of USAir.[3][4]

The airline changed affiliations to Continental Airlines in January 2000, when US Airways and CommuteAir failed to reach a mutually acceptable extension agreement, and CommuteAir decided not to renew the codeshare agreement. In July 2001, the company announced plans to downsize its fleet and workforce by approximately half and change the route structure of the airline. In early 2002, the company began a "micro-hub" operation based in Albany, New York. At its high point in 2003 and 2004, the hub served 21 cities within the Northeast and Canada with a fleet of Beechcraft 1900s. Service was also provided out of Boston's Logan International Airport to several Northeast cities.

In January 2003, CommuteAir announced an agreement with Continental to feed the latter's Cleveland, Ohio hub. Service commenced on March 16, 2003, serving Kalamazoo, Michigan and Elmira, New York. Two cities were added the following month and by August 2003, CommuteAir served 12 cities from the Cleveland hub.

CommuteAir leased sixteen Bombardier DHC-8-200 aircraft from Horizon Air in 2006. The following year, the Beech 1900s were phased out.

On October 30, 2007, the company moved all remaining operations from Clinton County Airport, due to the closure of the airport. All operations were then conducted out of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.[5]

On October 2, 2008, the company began operations out of Newark Liberty International Airport, following Continental Airlines plan to adjust to the softening industry.[6]

CommuteAir's pilot group voted for union representation by the Air Line Pilots Association in 2008.[7] That same year, Continental Airlines announced that it would cut flights and more than 3,000 jobs.[8] Subsequently, it was announced that some of CommuteAir's Cleveland flights would be eliminated as part of Continental's cutbacks.[9]

In 2011, following the merger of Continental and United, CommuteAir became a United Express carrier and United Airlines asked CommuteAir to obtain five Bombardier Q300s. Two of the aircraft were allocated to Cleveland services and three aircraft were allocated to Newark services.

In 2012, CommuteAir opened a hub at Washington-Dulles International Airport.

In July 2014, CommuteAir closed its pilot base at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, after United Airlines withdrew its Cleveland hub.[10] CommuteAir also closed its Cleveland maintenance base, and replaced it with a new maintenance base in Albany, New York.[11]

On November 9, 2015, CommuteAir announced that it has reached an agreement with United Airlines to significantly increase the number of airplanes flown under the United Express brand by adding Embraer ERJ-145 jet operations to the company's existing fleet of Bombardier turbo-prop aircraft.

In July 2016, CommuteAir began commercial service with its inaugural flight on the ERJ-145XR jet from Washington, D.C. to Columbia, SC.[12]

In September 2017, the Q300 was phased out and in January 2018, the DHC-8-200 was phased out, marking the end of turbo-prop operations.

On July 30, 2020, it was announced that United Airlines had decided to end its contract with fellow United Express affiliate ExpressJet and transferred these operations to CommuteAir. CommuteAir became the sole operator of the United Express ERJ-145 fleet.[13]

On September 30, 2020, CommuteAir started servicing United's Houston hub and on March 28, 2021, it began service out of Denver International Airport. The latter marks the return of the ERJ-145 to the Denver United Express fleet since COVID and the cessation of operations by Trans States Airlines.[14]

On January 19, 2023, hacker maia arson crimew announced it had compromised web servers belonging to CommuteAir and obtained access to flight and personnel scheduling systems, the personal data of airline staff, and a 2019 copy of the US Government No Fly List.[15][16]

Destinations

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (July 2023)
List of destinations[17] (As of 19 July 2023)
City Country (Subdivision) IATA Airport Notes
Huntsville United States (Alabama) HSV Huntsville International Airport
Mobile United States (Alabama) MOB Mobile Regional Airport
Bentonville United States (Arkansas) XNA Northwest Arkansas National Airport
Little Rock United States (Arkansas) LIT Clinton National Airport
Denver United States (Colorado) DEN Denver International Airport Hub
Durango United States (Colorado) DRO Durango–La Plata County Airport
Colorado Springs United States (Colorado) COS Colorado Springs Airport
Grand Junction United States (Colorado) GJT Grand Junction Regional Airport
Hartford United States (Connecticut) BDL Bradley International Airport
Panama City United States (Florida) ECP Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport
Pensacola United States (Florida) PNS Pensacola International Airport
Savannah United States (Georgia) SAV Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport
Idaho Falls United States (Idaho) IDA Idaho Falls Regional Airport
Louisville United States (Kentucky) SDF Louisville International Airport
Cincinnati, Ohio area United States (Kentucky) CVG Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport Airport is in Kentucky
Baton Rouge United States (Louisiana) BTR Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport
Lake Charles United States (Louisiana) LCH Lake Charles Regional Airport
Lafayette United States (Louisiana) LFT Lafayette Regional Airport
Shreveport United States (Louisiana) SHV Shreveport Regional Airport
Portland United States (Maine) PWM Portland International Jetport
Detroit United States (Michigan) DTW Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Gulfport United States (Mississippi) GPT Gulfport–Biloxi International Airport
Jackson United States (Mississippi) JAN Jackson–Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport
Springfield United States (Missouri) SGF Springfield–Branson National Airport
Billings United States (Montana) BIL Billings Logan International Airport
Albany United States (New York) ALB Albany International Airport Maintenance base
Buffalo United States (New York) BUF Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Rochester United States (New York) ROC Greater Rochester International Airport
Syracuse United States (New York) SYR Syracuse Hancock International Airport
Minot United States (North Dakota) MOT Minot International Airport
Hobbs United States (New Mexico) HOB Lea County Regional Airport
Santa Fe United States (New Mexico) SAF Santa Fe Regional Airport
Lincoln, Nebraska United States (Nebraska) LNK Lincoln International Airport Maintenance base
Cleveland United States (Ohio) CLE Cleveland Hopkins International Airport Headquarters
Columbus United States (Ohio) CMH John Glenn Columbus International Airport
Dayton United States (Ohio) DAY Dayton International Airport Occasional
Tulsa United States (Oklahoma) TUL Tulsa International Airport
Pittsburgh United States (Pennsylvania) PIT Pittsburgh International Airport
Providence United States (Rhode Island) PVD Theodore Francis Green State Airport
Charleston United States (South Carolina) CHS Charleston International Airport
Columbia United States (South Carolina) CAE Columbia Metropolitan Airport Occasional
Rapid City United States (South Dakota) RAP Rapid City Regional Airport
Knoxville United States (Tennessee) TYS McGhee Tyson Airport
Memphis United States (Tennessee) MEM Memphis International Airport
Nashville United States (Tennessee) BNA Nashville International Airport
Amarillo United States (Texas) AMA Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport
Brownsville United States (Texas) BRO Brownsville/South Padre Island International Airport
Corpus Christi United States (Texas) CRP Corpus Christi International Airport
Harlingen United States (Texas) HRL Valley International Airport
Houston United States (Texas) IAH George Bush Intercontinental Airport Hub
Laredo United States (Texas) LRD Laredo International Airport
Lubbock United States (Texas) LBB Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport
McAllen United States (Texas) MFE McAllen Miller International Airport
Midland United States (Texas) MAF Midland International Air and Space Port
Burlington United States (Vermont) BTV Burlington International Airport
Charlottesville United States (Virginia) CHO Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport
Norfolk United States (Virginia) ORF Norfolk International Airport
Richmond United States (Virginia) RIC Richmond International Airport
Roanoke United States (Virginia) ROA Roanoke Regional Airport
Washington, D.C. area United States (Virginia) IAD Washington Dulles International Airport Hub (airport is in Virginia)
Casper United States (Wyoming) CPR Casper–Natrona County International Airport
Cody United States (Wyoming) COD Yellowstone Regional Airport
Toronto Canada (Ontario) YYZ Lester Pearson International Airport
Ottawa Canada (Ontario) YOW Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport Occasional
Montréal Canada (Quebec) YUL Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Guadalajara Jalisco (Mexico) GDL Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla International Airport
Zihuatanejo Guerrero (Mexico) ZIH Aeropuerto Internacional de Zihuatanejo
Mexico City State of Mexico (Mexico) MEX Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México
Puebla City Puebla (Mexico) PBC Puebla International Airport
Veracruz Veracruz (Mexico) VER Aeropuerto Internacional de Veracruz
Cancun Cancun (Mexico) CUN Aeropuerto Internacional de Cancun

Crew bases

Maintenance bases

Fleet

As of January 2024, the CommuteAir fleet includes the following aircraft:[18][19]

Aircraft Active Orders Passengers Notes
Embraer ERJ-145XR 63 50 United Express
Embraer 170LR 1 76 CommuteAir[20]
Total 64  


As of January 2020, CommuteAir average fleet age was 15.2 years old.[21]

Historical fleet

The CommuteAir fleet was once composed entirely of Beechcraft 1900D aircraft, operated for US Airways Express and later for Continental Connection.

CommuteAir operated the final turboprop flight for United Express on Sunday, January 7, 2018.[22]

This flight, UCA4909/C54909 between Syracuse Airport and Dulles Airport was operated by tail number N363PH.[23][24] It marked the end of an era for both CommuteAir and United Express. The Bombardier DHC-8-200 was subsequently ferried to Roswell International Air Center for retirement.[25][26]

Incidents and accidents

CommutAir Flight 4821

Main article: CommutAir Flight 4821

On January 3, 1992, CommutAir Flight 4821, a Beechcraft 1900C operating for USAir Express was flying from Plattsburgh, New York to Newark, New Jersey, with stops in Saranac Lake and Albany in New York, crashed into a wooded mountaintop as it was landing at Adirondack Regional Airport.[27] Of the four people on board (two passengers and two crew), two were killed while the other two sustained serious injuries.[28]

The cause of the crash was determined to be pilot error in establishing a stabilized approach and cross-checking instruments. Factors related to the accident were: weather conditions and possible precipitation static interference, caused by inadequate grounding between the radome and fuselage that could have resulted in unreliable glide slope indications."[28]

CommutAir Flight 4933

Main article: CommutAir Flight 4933

On March 4, 2019, CommutAir Flight 4933, operating for United Express, landed off the runway during its second attempt at landing in Presque Isle International Airport.[29] The left main landing gear was torn from the aircraft and embedded in one of the two rear engines. The accident resulted in a loss of the airframe. Passengers and crew were evacuated, with three passengers and one crew member requiring treatment for minor injuries.[30]

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) attributed the accident to confirmation bias which prompted the pilots to continue descending even though they could not see the runway due to snow. Contributing factors were poor decision-making by the captain, fatigue of the first officer, and misalignment of the localizer caused by snow. The NTSB criticized the airline's training practices, as the captain had been promoted to that status despite a history of training failures and disciplinary action. The NTSB also noted that at least six CommutAir flight crews had noticed the localizer misalignment prior to the accident but none had reported it under the airline's safety program until after the event; one CommuteAir crew had reported the problem to the Federal Aviation Administration beforehand, but the agency did not issue a NOTAM because protocol dictated that more than one report was required.[31]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". av-info.faa.gov. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  2. ^ "US's CommutAir to change legal, brand names". ch-aviation. Retrieved 2022-09-17.
  3. ^ "CommutAir.com History". Retrieved October 12, 2009.
  4. ^ "Plattsburgh West CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved May 24, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Delta announces Big Sky flight schedules; Press-Republican.com, October 02, 2007".
  6. ^ "CommutAir Dodges Bullet". Regional Aviation News. June 16, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "CommutAir Pilots Vote ALPA:NMB Election Results Show Overwhelming Support for Union".
  8. ^ "Continental joins trend by cutting flights, workers". USA Today.
  9. ^ "Cleveland Hopkins takes hits in Continental cuts". 13 June 2008.
  10. ^ "More jobs lost with CommutAir pulling pilot base out of Cleveland". May 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  11. ^ "CommutAir to Relocate its Cleveland Crew and Maintenance Base - Airways Magazine". Airways Magazine. 2014-04-29. Archived from the original on 2018-03-20. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  12. ^ "CommutAir Begins Commercial Service with ERJ-145XR Aircraft for United Express®". PR Newswire. July 1, 2016.
  13. ^ "United to drop contract with ExpressJet, dealing fatal blow". Reuters. 2020-07-30. Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  14. ^ @flycommutair (March 21, 2021). "The mountains are calling and we must go ⛰ One week until we land in Denver and open our new crew base!" (Tweet). Retrieved 2021-03-27 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ Thalen, Mikael; Covucci, David (2023-01-19). "EXCLUSIVE: U.S. airline accidentally exposes 'No Fly List' on unsecured server". The Daily Dot. Retrieved 2023-01-20.
  16. ^ "how to completely own an airline in 3 easy steps". maia blog. 2023-01-19. Retrieved 2023-01-19.
  17. ^ "Where We Fly". www.FlyCommutAir.com. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  18. ^ "CommutAir Fleet". aviation.ch. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  19. ^ "CommutAir Fleet Details and History". www.planespotters.net. Retrieved 2019-10-07.
  20. ^ "Wow, what an amazing evening as we welcome the E170 to the fleet". instagram. 2023-10-24.
  21. ^ "CommutAir Fleet Details and History". planespotters.net. 2017-12-22. Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  22. ^ "United Express say Farewell Dash 8". IGN Travel. Archived from the original on 2018-01-10. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Flight history for United Airlines flight UA4909". FlightRadar24. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Commutair C5 Flight 4909 07-Jan-2018 KSYR - KIAD". Flightaware. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  25. ^ @flycommutair (January 8, 2018). "Goodnight beautiful. Thank you and rest well. 2006-2018 #farewell #youwillbemissed #united #DullesAirport #alljet" (Tweet). Retrieved 16 January 2018 – via Twitter.
  26. ^ "Flightaware - N363PH flight KOKC-KROW". Flightaware. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  27. ^ "In reply refer to: A-94-74 through -76" (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. March 28, 1994. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  28. ^ a b Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Beechcraft 1900C-1 N55000 Saranac Lake-Adirondack Airport, NY (SLK)". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
  29. ^ "Incident at Presque Isle International Airport". WAGM-TV. March 4, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  30. ^ "United flight lands off the runway at Presque Isle International Airport". WABI. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  31. ^ National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Final Report (Report). National Transportation Safety Board. July 12, 2022. DCA19FA089. Retrieved July 20, 2022.