Chautauqua Airlines

Chautauqua Airlines
Chautauqua Airlines
Founded 1973
Hubs As AmericanConnection:
Chicago O'Hare International Airport
As Continental Express:
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
As Delta Connection:
Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
LaGuardia Airport
As Frontier Express:
General Mitchell International Airport
As US Airways Express:
LaGuardia Airport
Fleet size 78
Destinations 98 (airports)
Parent company Republic Airways Holdings
Headquarters Indianapolis, IN, USA
Key people Bryan Bedford (CEO)

Chautauqua Airlines, Inc. is a regional airline and a subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings based in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States.[1] Based on 2009 published flight schedules, it operates scheduled passenger services on more than 700 flights daily to 98 airports in 31 states, Washington, D.C. and Canada through feeder services under the names AmericanConnection for American Airlines, Continental Express for Continental Airlines, Delta Connection for Delta Air Lines, Frontier Express for Frontier Airlines, US Airways Express for US Airways, and operated as United Express for United Airlines until January 2009, when the E145 agreement with United expired.

Chautauqua has a crew base at its headquarters in Indianapolis (Indianapolis International Airport), and also has crew bases at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, General Mitchell International Airport, Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Louisville International Airport, O'Hare International Airport and Port Columbus International Airport.



Republic Airways Holdings traces it roots to Chautauqua. See also: History of Republic Airways Holdings

The airline was established on May 3, 1973 in Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York, USA and started operations on August 1, 1974. Chautauqua is historically significant for it is one of the last remaining companies still in business that once flew as a part of the Allegheny Commuter. Allegheny Commuter was one of the first regional franchisee systems combining independent regional and commuter airlines under one seemingly contiguous and seamless brand.

Chautauqua Airlines had a rough year in 1994, posting its first loss in 20 years. The loss can be contributed to the crash of an American Eagle commuter plane flying from Chicago to Indianapolis. Media coverage of the crash spread quickly, and because of its association, Chautauqua Airlines lost passengers who had come to distrust commuter planes. However, Chautauqua Airlines bounced back, while renewing its code-share agreement with USAir in the same year on May 8, 1994. To better support its growing operations, the corporate headquarters of Chautauqua Airlines was relocated to Indianapolis, Indiana.

Chautauqua was acquired by Wexford Management in January 1998. Republic Airways Holdings completed its initial public offering in May 2004. Chautauqua Airlines is wholly owned by Republic Airways Holdings, which employs approximately 5,000 aviation professionals as of April 2008.[2]

It operates a fleet of approximately 90 Embraer regional jets (ERJ), including 60 ERJ-145s, 15 ERJ-140s and 14 ERJ-135s. These aircraft are deployed under the "express" banners of four major airlines; American, Continental, Delta and U.S. Airways. Chautauqua took delivery of 24 Canadair CRJ's in the first half of 2007 and flies them under its new code-share agreement with Continental. Some of these aircraft were previously owned by Atlantic Coast Airlines (Independence Air), and some were owned by Comair. Chautauqua was one of the first U.S. operators of the Embraer 170 regional jet, but was forced to transfer these aircraft to sister company Shuttle America in 2005 after the pilots' union at American Airlines claimed the aircraft violated a "scope clause" regulating the size of regional aircraft operated under American brands.[3]

In early 2006 Chautauqua opened its new aircraft maintenance complex, capable of holding nine planes, at Louisville International Airport in Louisville, KY. Maintenance is performed in Indianapolis, Columbus, Louisville, & St Louis. Their ERJ-135/140/145 heavy 'C-check' maintenance is performed in Columbus Ohio.[4]

Chautauqua Airlines does not fly its aircraft in their own aircraft livery color scheme, but colors and branding of the airlines they serve. They do, however, have five "blue tail" aircraft which they operate for independent charters and when other aircraft are in maintenance. Chautauqua airlines operates an all-jet fleet of Embraer aircraft. It has since sold off all of its Bombardier RJ products.


  • January 26, 2004 – Regional Airline of the Year by Air Transport World[5]
  • April 28, 2004 – Regional Airline of the Year by Regional Airline World[6]
  • April 28, 2004 – President & CEO Bryan Bedford named Airline Executive of the Year by Regional Airline World[6]
  • February 4, 2006 – Aviation Excellence Award from Flight International[7]
  • January 25, 2008 – Regional Airline of the Year by Air Transport World[5]

Maintenance violation accusations

In April 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $348,000 fine against Chautauqua Airlines for allegedly not performing required inspections for three years.[8]

The FAA alleged that:

  • Chautauqua flew a Canadair Regional Jet more than 17,600 flights from November 2007 through January 2009 before the planes' engines were inspected.
  • The airline flew eight Canadair Regional Jets more than 9,900 flights from October 2007 through December 2008 before lower wing inspections were done.
  • Chautauqua operated another Canadair Regional Jet on 231 flights in January 2009 without inspecting a section of a lower wing for cracks. During the same month, another Canadair Regional Jet flew for 61 hours without a required inspection of electrical relays.
  • The airline flew an Embraer 145 jet for 43 days past the time one of its inertial navigation units should have been replaced.



The Chautauqua Airlines fleet includes the following aircraft (as of May 16, 2010)[9]:


External links

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