United Express

United Express

__NOTOC__United Express is a brand name under which seven regional airlines operate feeder flights for United Airlines. They primarily connect smaller cities with United's domestic hub airports and “focus cities,” although they offer some point-to-point service such as Sacramento to Eureka.

As of October 1, 2008, these carriers are the followingcite book|title=Worldwide Timetable|author=United Airlines|date=2008-10|url=http://www.uatimetable.com/United.pdf] :

The seven airlines are owned by five holding companies. Chautauqua and Shuttle America are part of Republic Airways Holdings; Trans States and GoJet are part of Trans States Holdings); and Pinnacle Airlines Corp., parent company of similarly named Pinnacle Airlines, owns Colgan Air. Mesa Air Group owns Mesa Airlines, and SkyWest, Inc. is the holding company in control of SkyWest Airlines.


Major airlines in the United States had long maintained relationships with regional carriers which fed passengers from small markets to larger towns. The Airline Deregulation Act spurred industry consolidation both vertically and horizontally, and as the hub system became more pronounced, airlines formalized these relationships through code sharing, shared branding, and listing regional partners in computer reservations systems. By the mid-1980s, United was partners with Air Wisconsin, Aspen Airways, and WestAir, feeding its hubs at Chicago O'Hare, Denver Stapleton, and San Francisco International Airports. Air Wisconsin and Aspen would merge in 1991.

In 1988, Presidential Airways became a United Express carrier for United's new hub at Washington Dulles International Airport, but soon foundered. In response, WestAir formed an eastern division to serve Dulles. WestAir itself experienced turmoil; in 1991 it spun off the new division into an independent company, Atlantic Coast Airlines (ACA), and the following year was acquired by Mesa Airlines.

In 1992 Great Lakes Airlines became a United Express partner, followed by Trans States Airlines the following year. In 1997, as United officially designated Los Angeles International Airport one of its hubs, SkyWest Airlines left Continental Airlines to become a United Express partner as well. Great Lakes left the United Express system in 2001, although it continues to codeshare some routes with United.

In 1993, Trans States Airlines started United Feeder Service, to operate British Aerospace BAe ATP aircraft for United Airlines. The aircraft, originally owned by Air Wisconsin, were transferred and subsequently owned by United. UFS operated routes to Chicago O'Hare (ORD) from close markets in the upper midwest of the United States. UFS was eliminated from the United Express carrier network in 1999, and disappeared.

When United declared for Chapter 11 reorganization in 2002, it pressured its regional partners for reduced fees. In 2004, ACA canceled its contract and reinvented itself as low-cost carrier Independence Air. The next year, Air Wisconsin unsuccessfully bid to retain its flying contract, thought it did retain some ground-handling United Express operations. To compensate, United has initiated new service agreements with Colgan Air, Trans States subsidiary GoJet Airlines, and Republic Airways Holdings subsidiaries Chautauqua Airlines and Shuttle America.

In 2005, United announced that service levels on major United Express routes would be upgraded to a new product called explus. Routes with explus service offer first class seats and meal service on larger, 70-seat Embraer 170 and 66-seat Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft. Expanding the traditional regional partner role, United started to use the airplanes configured with explus amenities instead of, or alongside with, mainline jets on routes linking large cities, such as Chicago to Houston.

United announced a new Express focus city at San Antonio International Airport in 2006, but the experiment was short-lived.

New routes

= Chicago (ORD) =

* Great Falls, Montana (GTF) "begins June 14"
* Montrose, Colorado (MTJ) "begins December 11"

= Los Angeles (LAX) =

* Bozeman, Montana (BZN) "begins June 7"

= San Francisco (SFO) =

* Kalispell, Montana (FCA) "begins June 14"
* Klamath Falls, Oregon (LMT) "begins July 7"
* Missoula, Montana (MSO) "begins June 14"
* North Bend, Oregon (OTH) "begins July 7"

[ [http://www.united.com/page/article/0,6722,52202,00.html?jumpLink=%2Fnewroutes United Airlines - The Friendly Skies - Flight routes and flight schedules for roundtrip flights to domestic and international destinations ] ]


See: United Express destinations


External links

* United's official [http://www.united.com/page/middlepage/0,6823,1315,00.html United Express] page
* United's official [http://www.united.com/explus explus] site

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