Atlantic Southeast Airlines
|Ceased operations||December 31, 2011 (name changed to ExpressJet)|
As Delta Connection
As United Express
SkyMiles (Delta)Mileage Plus (United)
|Airport lounge||Delta Sky Club
SkyTeam as DeltaStar Alliance as United Express
|Parent company||SkyWest, Inc.|
|Headquarters||Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
College Park, Georgia, USA
|Key people||Brad Holt, President/COO|
Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) was an American airline based in the A-Tech Center in College Park, Georgia, flying to 144 destinations as a Delta Connection carrier and, as of February 2010, commenced service as a United Express carrier. It was a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc. ASA operated nearly 900 flights each day. Its main hub was at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).
In November 2011, ASA and ExpressJet received a single operating certificate from the FAA and in December 2011, all flights were branded as ExpressJet.
On March 12, 1979, the company was incorporated as Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc. with headquarters established in the Atlanta area. June 27 saw the start of operations with one 19-passenger Twin Otter aircraft between Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia. From 1979 to 1999 the call sign for ASA was "ACEY". In 1999 there was confusion with call sign for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)- New Mexico based fighter unit w/ call sign "ACER". The FAA insisted one change call its sign and ASA was the one to change since they had used the call sign for the least amount of time. June 27, 1999 ASA changed to call sign CAA "Candler" after the founder of Coca-Cola, Asa Candler. On March 15, 2006 ASA was allowed to change its call sign back to ACEY, after the New Mexico fighter unit went defunct. Over the years, ASA's ICAO identifier changed from ASE to CAA to ACY to ASQ.. The company went public when the initial stock offering was completed in 1982.
The first of a fleet of Embraer Bandeirante twin-engined turboprop light airliners was delivered to ASA in December 1980. On April 1, 1983 the company acquired Southeastern Airlines. About a year later, in 1984, ASA joined the Delta Connection Program as one of the first regional partners. After only a few years as a true regional airline, the company was named 'Regional Airline of the Year' by Air Transport World in January 1987.
ASA initiated jet service with introduction of BAe 146 aircraft in 1995. Two years later, the company began using the Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) for service from its Atlanta hub. CRJ service from the Dallas/Fort Worth hub began in 2000.
On September 8, 1998 the company was honored as one of the global aviation and aerospace industry's best managed companies by Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine.
Delta Air Lines acquired the company on March 22, 1999, increasing its stake in Atlantic Southeast Airlines from 28% to 100%, and operations began on May 11 of that year. In 2000, Comair, a Delta Connection partner, joined ASA in announcing industry's largest regional jet order. Also in 2000, ASA went international with flights to Toronto, Canada, from Atlanta.
In 2001, President Skip Barnette was named Regional Airline Executive of the year by the 2000 Commuter/Regional Airline News. Near the end of 2001, ASA carried the 2002 Olympic Flame between Miami, Florida and Mobile, Alabama, as part of Delta's sponsorship of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.
In 2002, ASA received and began using its first Delta Connection 70-seat CRJ700 aircraft. All previous CRJs were CRJ200 models, which only offered 50 seats. Also in 2002, ASA began service to its 100th airport: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Cincinnati, Ohio. By June 2003, ASA had received its 100th CRJ. In 2004, a special-edition CRJ700 was delivered to ASA to celebrate its 25th anniversary of passenger service.
On August 15, 2005, Delta announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell ASA to SkyWest, Inc. for $425 million, and on September 8, 2005, SkyWest announced that the acquisition had been completed, and that the code shares and flying would commence that night.
Shortly after the completion of the purchase by SkyWest, Inc. the decision was made to close ASA's Salt Lake City hub and transfer 12 of ASA's CRJ700s to SkyWest Airlines. Eventually only 4 of the 12 airplanes were transferred between the certificates. SkyWest Airlines also took delivery of the remainder of ASA's regional jet orders, as 5 additional CRJ700s and 17 CRJ900s.
On June 1, 2006, ASA filed with the US Department of Transportation for an exemption to begin service from Los Angeles International Airport to nine Mexican destinations under the Delta Connection brand. This service is contingent on US as well as Mexican government approvals. ASA also announced the opening of a Los Angeles crew base on December 1, 2006, to support the expanded west coast operations. ASA began operations at its new Los Angeles focus city on December 15, 2006.
On December 20, 2006, Skywest Inc. announced that 8 Comair CRJ700 aircraft would be transferred to Atlantic Southeast Airlines and operated out of Delta's Cincinnati hub beginning in January 2007. This followed a request for proposal put out by Delta Air Lines aiming to reduce costs of its Delta Connection service.
On December 30, 2008, Delta announced that 10 CRJ900 aircraft would be allocated to Atlantic Southeast Airlines beginning in April 2009. Eight aircraft will be delivered from the factory and two already in service with Pinnacle Airlines will be transferred to ASA. As part of the fleet enhancement, 20 CRJ200 aircraft will be removed from ASA's Delta Connection Agreement beginning in June 2010.
ASA had the lowest rate of on-time performance, and the worst rate of mishandled baggage among all 19 US air carriers reporting to the US Department of Transportation for the full-year 2006. ASA's baggage handling performance improved slightly in 2007, but they once again ranked last out of all 20 reporting carriers for on-time performance. It should be noted, however, that ASA is not directly responsible for the mishandled baggage problems since ASA baggage is handled by Delta Air Lines. Under Brad Holt's new leadership, on-time performance has been steadily improving, with full recoveries in markets such as Montgomery, Alabama, where ASA was honored for exceeding the city's expectation in improving performance.
After over five years of contentious negotiations with the Air Line Pilots Association, a new three-year agreement was reached in late September 2007 with ASA's 1800 pilots. ASA's Flight Attendants represented by the Association of Flight Attendants reached a contract agreement as of August 2008.
On February 12, 2009 Atlantic Southeast created aviation history by having the first all female African American crew in United States history. Flight 5202, A Bombardier CRJ700, departed Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International en route to Nashville International with Captain Rachelle Jones and First Officer Stephanie Grant at the controls, and Flight Attendants Diana Galloway and Robin Rogers taking care of the passengers' needs. The return leg, Flight 5106 to Atlanta, had the same crew.
On May 21, 2010 Atlantic Southeast unveiled a new brand (top of page on right), moving away from "ASA," and a new vision.
In August 2010, SkyWest announced that it had entered into a definitive merger agreement with ExpressJet Holdings, whereby Atlantic Southeast, as SkyWest's wholly owned subsidiary, will purchase ExpressJet for $6.75 per share. Day one of the combined airlines was Friday, November 12, 2010. The combined airline will be based in Atlanta. ExpressJet currently operates as Continental Express and United Express. The airline expects to be operating under one certificate 4th quarter of 2011.
On July 13, 2011, Atlantic Southeast announced that it will change its name to "SureJet" after completion of its merger with ExpressJet. However, the reaction of employee groups at both airlines was so negative that the new name was put on hold less than 24 hours after being announced. Brand information and press releases pertaining to "SureJet" have been removed from Atlantic Southeast's public and employee websites and the company's combined identity was reconsidered. On October 14, 2011, the company announced that Atlantic Southeast's official company name will change to ExpressJet Airlines on December 31, 2011.  On November 22, 2011, both Atlantic Southeast and ExpressJet gained approval from the FAA for a single operating certificate that would allow them to operate as a single carrier under the ExpressJet name making ExpressJet the largest regional airline in the world with more than 400 aircraft.
Embraer Brasilia aircraft were retired from service in 2003, and aircraft that have not been sold are in storage at Hot Springs, Arkansas. The airline operated:
- 19 ATR 72-210
- 6 British Aerospace 146-200
- de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter
- 6 de Havilland Canada Dash 7
- 13 Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante
- 3 Embraer EMB 120ER Brasilia
- 12 Embraer EMB 120RT Brasilia
- 10 Shorts 360
In December 2007 the airline announced it was moving its headquarters into the A-Tech facility, a hangar at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport previously named the "North Hangar." The 203,000-square-foot (18,900 m2) hangar includes 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of hangar bays for aircraft maintenance. It has 17 acres (6.9 ha) of adjacent land and 1,400 parking spaces for employees. The airline planned to relocate 100 employees from Macon, Georgia to the new headquarters. The Atlanta City Council and Mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin approved of the new 25-year ASA lease, which also gave the airline new hangar space to work on 15 to 25 aircraft in overnight maintenance; previously its aircraft were serviced at Concourse C. The airport property division stated that the hangar was built in the 1960s and renovated in the 1970s. Eastern Airlines and Delta Air Lines had previously occupied the hangar. Delta's lease originally was scheduled to expire in 2010, but the airline returned the lease to the City of Atlanta in 2005 as part of its bankruptcy settlement. The city collected an insurance settlement of almost $900,000 as a result of the cancellation.
The airline had its headquarters in Greater Atlanta for a 26-year span until December 2007. In 1985 Atlantic Southeast Airlines was headquartered in what is now College Park. In 1995 ASA was headquartered in a building in the Atlanta City limits. Prior to the headquarters move to the hangar, the ASA headquarters were in 61,000 square feet (5,700 m2) of space in the 100 Hartsfield Centre Parkway building, now named One Hartsfield Centre. That building is also in College Park, near Hartsfield Airport. ASA had occupied Suite 800. The airline announced it was moving to the A-Tech Center as its lease was expiring at 100 Hartsfield Centre Parkway.
Incidents and accidents
- Flight 2366 (Lawton, Oklahoma, May 24, 1988; Crashed due to engine failure on take-off)
- Flight 2254 (Gadsden, Alabama, April 9, 1990; collided with a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 172 after takeoff from Northeast Alabama Regional Airport)
- Flight 2311 (Brunswick, Georgia, April 5, 1991; killed 23, including former U.S. Senator John Tower and astronaut Sonny Carter)
- Flight 529 (near Carrollton, Georgia, August 21, 1995)
- Flight 5058 (Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport), September 2, 2011; Canadair CRJ-200 N875AS landed with the port main undercarriage retracted. There were no injuries amongst the 50 passengers and three crew on board.
- ASA Silver & Soaring Go Publications 2004
- ASA History
- Roach & Eastwood, 1998, p. 266
- Air Travel Consumer Report - February 2007
- Air Travel Consumer Report - February 2008
- Airline makes history with first all-black female flight crew
- SkyWest, Inc. Skywest.com (2013-06-30). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- Atlanta regional airline backtracks on new name. www.ajc.com (2011-07-14). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- | The Salt Lake Tribune. Sltrib.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
- Atlantic Southeast Airlines fleet list at ch-aviation.ch. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
- Atlantic Southeast Airlines fleet list at planespotters.net
- Atlantic southeast Airlines fleet list at airfleets.net
- Atlantic Southeast Airlines
- "Contact." Atlantic Southeast Airlines. Retrieved on May 19, 2009. "Atlantic Southeast Airlines A-Tech Center 990 Toffie Terrace Atlanta, GA 30354-1363"
- "City Maps." (Archive) City of College Park. Retrieved on May 25, 2009.
- "11-R-1381." (Archive, Proposed version, Archive of Alt) City of Atlanta, Retrieved on July 28, 2012.
- Tobin Ramos, Rachel and Douglas Sams. "ASA lands headquarters at Hartsfield hangar." Atlanta Business Chronicle. Monday December 10, 2007. Retrieved on July 28, 2012.
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 30, 1985. 56." Retrieved on June 17, 2009. "1688 Phoenix Parkway, College Park, Georgia 30349, USA"
- "Atlanta 1990 Tiger Map." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on July 25, 2009.
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. March 22–28, 1995. 58. Retrieved on July 25, 2009.
- "100 Hartsfield Centre Pky • One Hartsfield Centre Atlanta, GA 30354." (Archive) Cassidy-Turley Real Estate Services. Retrieved on July 28, 2012.
- "Contact ASA." Delta Air Lines. March 16, 2006. Retrieved on July 28, 2012. "Corporate Address, Telephone, & Fax: Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) Corporate Office 100 Hartsfield Centre Parkway, Suite 800 Atlanta, GA 30354"
- "44 Unhurt as Jet Lands at Abandoned Strip". The New York Times. May 25, 1988.
- Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: Atlantic Southeast CRJ2 at Baton Rouge on Sep 1st 2011, left main gear up landing". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- Roach & Eastwood (1998). Turbo Prop Airliners Production List. The Aviation Hobby Shop. ISBN 0-907178-69-3.
- Atlantic Southeast Airlines
- Interactive Route Map
- ASA MEC Negotiations Website
- Vintage ASA photos and route map