Delta Connection
Hubs
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer programSkyMiles
Parent companyDelta Air Lines
Websitedelta.com

Delta Connection is a regional airline brand name for Delta Air Lines, under which a number of individually owned regional airlines primarily operate short- and medium-haul routes. Mainline major air carriers often use regional airlines to operate services via code sharing agreements in order to increase frequencies in addition to serving routes that would not sustain larger aircraft as well as for other competitive or operational reasons.

Delta Connection flights are operated by Delta-owned Endeavor Air and contractors Republic Airways and SkyWest Airlines.

History

A Delta Connection Bombardier CRJ700, operated by SkyWest, landing at Vancouver in 2008
A Delta Connection CRJ100, operated by Comair, landing at Baltimore
A Delta Connection ERJ145 during winter at Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport.
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Delta Connection was founded in 1984[1] as a means of expanding the Delta network to smaller markets via partnerships with regional airlines.

Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) began Delta Connection service on March 1, 1984, from their hub at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and soon had a substantial presence at Delta's hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. ASA was a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines under the Delta Connection, Inc., holding company from May 11, 1999, to September 7, 2005, when it was purchased by SkyWest, Inc., the parent company of SkyWest Airlines.

Ransome Airlines operated Delta Connection flights in the northeast from March 1, 1984, to June 1, 1986, when it was purchased by Pan Am.

Comair began Delta Connection service on September 1, 1984. Comair primarily operated from Delta's hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport which was established the same year. Comair also began operating Delta Connection service from Delta's hub at Orlando International Airport in 1987.[2] In January 2000, Comair became a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.[1]

Rio Airways operated Delta Connection flights from their hub in Dallas/Fort Worth from June 1, 1984, to December 14, 1986, when the airline declared bankruptcy. ASA subsequently became the main Delta Connection carrier at the Dallas/Fort Worth hub.[3]

Business Express Airlines operated Delta Connection flights in the northeastern US and Canada from June 1, 1986, to March 15, 2000. The company was purchased by AMR Corporation in 1999 and integrated into the American Eagle Airlines system in 2000.

Following the acquisition of Western Airlines by Delta Air Lines, SkyWest Airlines, which had been operating codeshare service flying as Western Express for Western, became a Delta Connection carrier on April 1, 1987, primarily operating from their hub at Salt Lake City International Airport, which Delta inherited from Western.[4]

Trans States Airlines operated Delta Connection flights from March 1998 to March 31, 2000, mainly from their focus cities in Boston and New York.

In 2002, Chautauqua Airlines became a Delta Connection carrier and replaced Comair as the main provider of regional flights at the Orlando hub.[5]

On November 2, 2004, Atlantic Coast Airlines ended service as a Delta Connection Carrier. Atlantic Coast Airlines reinvented itself as a low fare carrier called Independence Air, based at Washington Dulles International Airport. Atlantic Coast Airlines operated over 30 Dornier 328JET aircraft as part of its Delta Connection service from 2000 until 2005.

On December 22, 2004, Delta Air Lines announced that Republic Airways would order and operate 16 Embraer E170 aircraft under the Delta Connection banner. Since then, it has been announced that the Republic Airways subsidiary Shuttle America would operate the flights. The initial flight took place on September 1, 2005. On May 4, 2005, Delta Air Lines announced that Mesa Air Group subsidiary Freedom Airlines would operate up to 30 Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft under the Delta Connection banner beginning in October 2005. Shortly after the announcement, the decision was made for Freedom Airlines to operate the Embraer ERJ-145 for Delta Connection instead of the CRJ. After a legal battle with Mesa Air Group, Delta and Freedom Airlines terminated their contract, ending all flights on August 31, 2010.[6] On December 21, 2006, Delta announced that Big Sky Airlines would become a Delta Connection carrier, using eight Beechcraft 1900D turboprops out of Boston Logan International Airport.[7]

On March 1, 2007, it was announced that ExpressJet would operate 10 Embraer ERJ-145XR aircraft under the Delta Connection banner beginning in June 2007 on flights from Los Angeles International Airport. It was later announced that ExpressJet would operate an additional eight aircraft as Delta Connection. On July 3, 2008, Delta and ExpressJet announced that they had terminated their agreement and that ExpressJet operations as Delta Connection would end by September 1, 2008.[8] On April 30, 2007, it was announced that Pinnacle Airlines would operate 16 Bombardier CRJ-900 under the Delta Connection banner starting in December 2007.

Merging Delta Connection and Northwest Airlink

The merger of Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines meant that Northwest's regional brand, Northwest Airlink, would be merged into Delta Connection. The new Delta Connection would include the regional airlines from both the original Delta and Northwest. On November 8, 2008, Delta and Mesaba Airlines, a fully owned regional subsidiary of Northwest Airlines that operated flights as Northwest Airlink with turboprop aircraft and also with regional jet aircraft, announced that the seven CRJ-900 aircraft previously operated by Freedom as well as eight new-order aircraft would be operated for Delta Connection beginning February 12, 2009.

Citing cost reductions, Delta Air Lines sold former Northwest Airlines regional subsidiary Mesaba Airlines on July 1, 2010, to Pinnacle Airlines Corp. for $62 million. Its headquarters were moved to Pinnacle's in Memphis on December 26, 2011. Mesaba merged its operations into Pinnacle on January 4, 2012.[9][10] The same day, Trans States Holdings purchased Compass Airlines from Delta for $20.5 million.[11] It has maintained both regional operations with the airlines as of January 1, 2012.

Delta announced that it would add in-flight WiFi to 223 Delta Connection aircraft beginning in 2011.[12]

Regional carrier GoJet Airlines, also owned by Trans States Holdings, began operations from Detroit Wayne County Metropolitan Airport to cities in the Midwest using 15 CRJ-700 aircraft on January 11, 2012.[13]

Following a merger between Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) and ExpressJet, Delta Connection flights operated under the latter's name and ceased operations as ASA. All routes remained the same, but the flights began operating as ExpressJet beginning in 2012.[14]

On July 25, 2012, Delta announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Comair would cease all operations at midnight on September 28, 2012.

Delta Connection aircraft at LaGuardia Airport

On May 1, 2013, as a condition of exiting bankruptcy, Pinnacle Airlines became a subsidiary of Delta and was subsequently renamed Endeavor Air.[15]

On December 31, 2014, Chautauqua Airlines operated its last flight for Delta Connection. All aircraft and crew and maintenance bases would be absorbed by the Shuttle America certificate. The conclusion of this service also removed the last operating three seat wide aircraft from the Delta Connection fleet.[16]

On August 9, 2017, it was announced that Delta and ExpressJet would terminate their agreement early with all operations ended in late 2018.[17] The remaining dual-class aircraft financed by Delta would be transferred to Endeavor while ExpressJet would redistribute their financed aircraft to other flying partners. Delta cited ExpressJet's lacking operational performance and focus on trimming their 50-seat fleet as the main reason for terminating the contract early.[18]

In August 2019, Delta announced that the regional fleet would be consolidated from 5 carriers to 3, eliminating GoJet Airlines and Compass Airlines. The Delta Connection aircraft and routes would be transferred to the Delta-owned Endeavor Air and contractors Republic Airway and SkyWest Airlines.[19] Endeavor, Republic, and SkyWest would each focus on different geographic regions with SkyWest becoming the primary partner in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Seattle; and Endeavor growing in Cincinnati, Detroit, and Raleigh–Durham.[20]

In September 2020, Delta announced in an SEC filing that it planned to retire all Delta-owned CRJ200 aircraft by December 2023. [21]This was due to the uncomfortably of the aircraft, and the lack of any premium seats. The final CRJ200 flight flew on December 1 being replaced by the larger CRJ variants.[22]In November 2023, Delta announced that they would add Wi-Fi to their current regional aircraft, and their mainline Boeing 717s starting from mid 2024.

Operators and fleet

A scope clause agreement between Delta Air Lines and its mainline pilots union limits the number and size of aircraft that may be flown by Delta Connection. The current agreement allows up to 125 airplanes with 50 seats or fewer, 102 airplanes with between 51 and 70 seats, and 223 airplanes with up to 76 seats.[23]

The E170s operated by Republic Airways are to be removed, and transferred to American Eagle.

As of December 2023, Delta Connection operates the following aircraft:

Delta Connection fleet
Airline Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Notes Refs.
F Y+ Y Total
Endeavor Air Bombardier CRJ700 18 9 16 44 69 [24][25]
Bombardier CRJ900 7 12 20 38 70
116 12 20 44 76
Embraer 175 1 12 20 44 76 Currently parked.
Republic Airways Embraer 170 7 9 12 48 69 All aircraft to be transferred to American Eagle. [24]
Embraer 175 46 12 20 44 76
SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ700 9 9 16 44 69 [26][27]
Bombardier CRJ900 13 12 20 38 70
24 44 76
Embraer 175SC 37 12 20 38 70
Embraer 175 46 3 44 76
Total 328 3

Historical regional jet fleet

The Delta Connection brand, through its various regional and commuter airline partners, operated a variety of jet aircraft over the years including the following types:

Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Replacement Notes
BAe 146-200 8 1993 1996 Bombardier CRJ100/200 Operated by Business Express Airlines[28]
Bombardier CRJ100 67 1993 2019 Bombardier CRJ700, Bombardier CRJ900 Bombardier CRJ200 Operated by Comair and SkyWest Airlines
Bombardier CRJ200 268 1994 2023 Bombardier CRJ700, Bombardier CRJ900 Operated by Atlantic Coast Airlines, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Comair, Endeavor Air, ExpressJet, and SkyWest Airlines
Dornier 328JET 3 1993 1996 Bombardier CRJ100/200 Operated by Business Express Airlines
Embraer ERJ 135 3 2002 2008 Embraer ERJ 145 Operated by Chautauqua Airlines
Embraer ERJ 145 41 2005 2018 Bombardier CRJ700, Bombardier CRJ900, Embraer 170, Embraer 175 Operated by Chautauqua Airlines, Express Airlines, Freedom Airlines, and Shuttle America

Historical turboprop fleet

The Delta Connection brand, through its various regional and commuter airline partners, operated a variety of twin turboprop aircraft over the years including the following types:

Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Replacement Notes
ATR 72 19 1993 2008 Bombardier CRJ100/200,Bombardier CRJ700 series Operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines
BAe Jetstream 41 4 2000 2002 None Operated by Trans States Airlines
Beechcraft 1900 8 2006 2008 None Operated by Big Sky Airlines
De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 5 1986 1986 None Operated by Business Express Airlines
de Havilland Canada Dash 8-100 11 2006 2007 None Operated by Freedom Airlines
Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia 101 1991 2015 Bombardier CRJ100/200 Operated by Atlantic Southeast Airlines until 2003. Operated under codeshare with SkyWest Airlines until 2015, and never wore Delta Connection livery,
Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner 35 1987 1996 Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia Operated by SkyWest Airlines
Saab 340 92 1986 2011 Bombardier CRJ100/200 Initially operated by Business Express Airlines until 2001. Former Northwest Airlink fleet acquired in 2008, which were operated by Mesaba Airlines.

Academy

Delta Connection Academy was an airline flight school established in October 1989. The academy was located in Sanford, Florida, on the grounds of the Orlando Sanford International Airport. It contained a fleet that had 73 aircraft and over 550 flight students who attended the academy. On January 13, 2010, it was acquired by Flight Training Acquisitions for $50 million.[29] Today, it operates as L3Harris Flight Academy.

Incidents and accidents

References

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  2. ^ "Comair". Sunshine Skies.
  3. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, Dec. 15, 1989 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Dallas/Fort Worth flight schdedules
  4. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, March 1, 1987 Western Airlines system timetable & Western Express route map; April 3, 1988 SkyWest/Delta Connection route map
  5. ^ "Comair closing Orlando hub". Atlanta Business Chronicle. 11 June 2002. Archived from the original on November 23, 2002. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  6. ^ Snyder, Brett (May 19, 2010). "Mesa Air Group Loses Battle with Delta, and US Airways Must be Smiling". CBS News. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  7. ^ "Delta to Connect Northeast Business Centers with Significant Boston Expansion" (Press release). Boston: Delta News Hub. 2006-12-21. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  8. ^ Rigby, Bill (2008-07-03). "Delta, ExpressJet ditch regional pact". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
  9. ^ "Mesaba to close Eagan headquarters, cut 193 jobs". Inforum. 2011-10-22. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
  10. ^ Risher, Wayne (October 24, 2011). "Pinnacle Airlines to move Mesaba headquarters to Memphis, cutting 200 jobs in Minnesota". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
  11. ^ "Delta to sell Mesaba and Compass for $82.5 million". Flightglobal.com. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  12. ^ [1] Archived 2010-12-17 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Delta Eyes January Launch For New GoJet CRJ700 Operations". Aviation Week. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  14. ^ "Atlantic Southeast Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines Gain Final FAA Approval to Operate as One". MarketWire. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  15. ^ "Pinnacle Airlines now a Delta subsidiary". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  16. ^ "Chautauqua Airlines ends operations". ch-aviation. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
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  18. ^ "ExpressJet to End Delta Connection Flights - Airways Magazine". Airways Magazine. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  19. ^ "Delta Retools Its Regional Network -- and More Changes Are Coming". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  20. ^ "GoJet and Compass Dropped As Delta Connection Airlines". Pilot Job Central. 2019-08-07. Retrieved 2019-12-11.
  21. ^ "Retiring of the CRJ-200". 2020-09-25.
  22. ^ Russell, Molly (2023-11-30). "Delta Air Lines Is Planning Its Final Bombardier CRJ-200 Flight Today". Simple Flying. Retrieved 2023-12-02.
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  26. ^ "SkyWest Airlines Fleet Details and History". www.planespotters.net. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  27. ^ "SkyWest, Inc. Quarterly Report, quarter ended September 30, 2023 on Form 10-Q" (PDF). October 27, 2023. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  28. ^ "Delta Connection". Planespotters.net. 2023-09-28. Retrieved 2023-09-28.
  29. ^ "New company acquires Delta Connection Academy, Aerosim". AOPA Foundation. January 23, 2010. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  30. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II N163SW Kearns, UT". Aviation-safety.net. 1987-01-15. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  31. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-3B7 N388US Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX)". www.aviation-safety.net. Archived from the original on September 20, 2020. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  32. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Swearingen SA227-AC Metro III N683AV Los Angeles International Airport, CA (LAX)". www.aviation-safety.net. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  33. ^ Aircraft Accident Report: Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc., Flight 2311, Uncontrolled Collision With Terrain, an Embraer EMB-120, N270AS, Brunswick, Georgia, April 5, 1991 (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. April 28, 1992. NTSB/AAR-92/03. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  34. ^ "Wounded Bird," Mayday
  35. ^ Gary M. Pomerantz. "9 Minutes 20 Seconds". Archived from the original on August 6, 2007. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
  36. ^ Under 49 CFR Part 830.2, a fatal injury is one that results in death within 30 days of the accident.[2]
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  38. ^ "SR 407 - Robin Fech - honoring Archived 2012-08-06 at the Wayback Machine," Senate of Georgia
  39. ^ "In-Flight Loss of Propeller Blade, Forced Landing, and Collision with Terrain, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc., Flight 529, Embraer EMB-120RT, N256AS, Carrollton, Georgia, August 21, 1995" (PDF). August 21, 1995. Retrieved 2013-04-18.
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