American Airlines Drops Two Regional Carriers as It Streamlines

(Bloomberg) -- American Airlines Group Inc. is cutting ties with two regional affiliates as it seeks to simplify its short-distance operations.

The world’s largest carrier won’t renew contracts with ExpressJet and Trans States when they expire in 2019, according to a memo to reservations agents. Their flights will be shifted to other airlines and shouldn’t affect customers, the memo said.

The move furthers American’s plan to streamline operations and create what the memo called a “seamless experience” for passengers on the mainline carrier and American Eagle, the brand used for flights by regional partners. Dropping ExpressJet and Trans States will pare the number of American’s such carriers to seven. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company had 10 regional partners at the start of the year and ended its contract with Air Wisconsin Airlines in February.

ExpressJet service, which is concentrated at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, will migrate to SkyWest Inc., the carrier’s parent. The Trans States routes, flown on 15 regional jets mostly from Reagan National Airport in Washington, will shift to Envoy Airlines, said American spokeswoman LaKesha Brown. The airline will continue to review its regional partners.

Atlanta-based ExpressJet flies 12 planes for American and will fly exclusively for the regional operation at United Continental Holdings Inc. when the contract ends, according to SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow. “Current conversations to place these aircraft are positive and we are very confident in our ability to place them,” she said by email.

SkyWest was little changed at $56.55 at 1:24 p.m. in New York after dropping as much as 5.1 percent for the biggest intraday decline in four months. American climbed 2.5 percent to $43.17.

A spokeswoman for closely held Trans States didn’t respond to requests for comment.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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