Unraveling the dynamics behind Delta’s regional airline consolidation

The strategic factors and forces behind Delta's move to shrink its regional carriers from five to three. And where all those airplanes will end up.

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Release Date
August 9, 2019
Unraveling the dynamics behind Delta’s regional airline consolidation
In convoluted series of transactions announced earlier this week that will transform its regional operations, Delta Air Lines is ending its long-standing flying pact with Trans States Holdings, parent to GoJet Airlines and Compass Airlines. The carrier is consolidating across three airlines; Delta’s wholly-owned all-Bombardier Endeavor Air, the all-Embraer Republic Airways and 525-airplane2As of June 30, 2019.3SkyWest Airlines.

Trans States has been a ping pong ball in the dynamics of the big three airlines and their regional operations. Last summer, the carrier was rapidly approaching a merger with Republic, only to be blocked by United Airlines weeks later. Now, a year on, Delta is letting its contracts expire with Trans States’ subsidiaries Go Jet and Compass Airlines that fly for Delta Connection. Delta is getting its airplanes back by summer 2020, a mix of CRJs at GoJet and E175s flying for Compass.

Once an afterthought, regional operations have become increasingly important with a consolidated hub structure that flows traffic from smaller cities onto larger airplanes and a sharper focus on a consistent passenger experience across the carrier.

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