Republic Airways Holdings

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Republic Airways Holdings
Industry Transportation
Founded 1973
Headquarters Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Area served North America
Key people Bryan Bedford (CEO)
(Chairman) & (President)
Services Airline Services
Employees In holding company (450)
In all subsidiaries(10000+)

Republic Airways Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQRJET) is an airline holding corporation based in Indianapolis, Indiana,[1][2] that owns three regional airlines operating in the United States: Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines, and Shuttle America.

Chautauqua Airlines operates a fleet of Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft, while Republic Airlines operates the Embraer E-Jet family 170, 175 and 190 aircraft, and Shuttle America operates the Embraer E-Jet 170 and 175.


The company traces its roots to Chautauqua Airlines, founded in 1973 in Jamestown, New York, by Joel and Gloria Hall. Joel had been a pilot for Mohawk Airlines. Chautauqua was one of the first airlines to fly under code shares initially with Allegheny Airlines which later became USAirways. [3]

In 1988, an affiliate of Guarantee Security Life Insurance Company bought the airline. In 1991, the Florida Department of Insurance took over the insurance company and its airline subsidiary after the insurance company was declared insolvent. [3]

On May 8, 1994, Chautauqua swapped routes with Jetstream International which had been owned by USAir. Chautauqua then moved its headquarters to Indianapolis. [3]

In 1996, the company formally organized as a holding company.[4]

Wexford Management of Greenwich, Connecticut, an investment company, bought the company on May 15, 1998. Wexford had also owned National Airlines (N7) [3] and also invested heavily in Midway Airlines (1993–2003). Wexford’s interest in distressed airline firms dates back to 1995 when the assets of MarkAir were purchased in a bankruptcy auction.

On May 26, 2004, an IPO was launched on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol RJET with Wexford Capital remaining the majority shareholder.[5] The holding company capitalizes on the name Republic rather Chautauqua because Republic Airlines (1979–1986) has better national recognition even though the earlier Republic Airlines has no historic ties to the new company other than the name.

On May 9, 2005, the company acquired Shuttle America from Wexford affiliate Shuttle Acquisition LLC.[5]

In September 2005, Republic purchased 113 slots at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, 24 at LaGuardia Airport, and 10 Embraer 170 aircraft from US Airways with an agreement to lease those assets back to US Airways. The deal was necessary for US Airways to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

On July 31, 2009, Republic acquired 89 percent of Mokulele Airlines.[6]

On July 31, 2009, the company acquired financially troubled Midwest Airlines from TPG Capital;[5] and on October 1, 2009, Republic acquired Frontier Airlines which was being reorganized along with Frontier Airlines Holdings Lynx Aviation in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[5] On April 13, 2010, Republic announced that Midwest and Frontier would combine into a single airline, keeping the Frontier Airlines name.[7]

On October 23, 2009, Republic announced a joint venture with Mesa Air Group in which Embraer E170 routes operated by Shuttle America were transitioned to smaller Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet aircraft provided by Mesa Airlines.[5]

In the fourth quarter of 2011, Republic announced that it would spin off Frontier as a separate company.[8]

On December 2, 2013, Frontier was sold in its entirety to an affiliate of Indigo Partners. As part of the agreement, Republic Airlines removed the remaining Frontier branded Embraer 190 jets in "pro-rated" service with Frontier Airlines.

On July 28, 2014, Republic Airways Holdings announced that Chautauqua Airlines will be absorbed into Shuttle America to reduce costs. Chautauqua's ERJ-145 fleet will be transferred to the Shuttle America operating certificate. The airline's ERJ-140s are scheduled to be retired before the merger.[9]

Scope clauses[edit]

The separation of the three contract airlines is due to “scope clauses” between mainline pilots and each major carrier Republic feeds. These clauses regulate the size of regional jet aircraft that affiliate carriers may operate; the intent behind such clauses is to protect mainline pilots from being replaced by lower-paid regional pilots. In 2005, Republic paid a $6.6 million settlement to the Allied Pilots Association after placing Embraer 170s in service with Chautauqua Airlines as United Express, because such aircraft violated the scope clause in the pilots’ contract at American Airlines, which also contracts with Chautauqua for regional service as American Connection.[10] To avoid further liability, Republic moved all of its Embraer 170 aircraft to Shuttle America, an airline that previously only operated Saab 340 turboprops. Subsequently,[11] American Airlines and its pilots changed the scope agreement as part of the bankruptcy and merger with US Airways to allow more regional airlines, other than wholly owned American Airlines subsidiary American Eagle, to fly larger regional airliners under the American Eagle brand. Republic Airlines began flying the first of 47 Embraer 175 aircraft under the American Eagle brand in July 2013.

Codeshare agreements[edit]

Until 2009 when Republic acquired Midwest and Frontier, all of its planes flew in the colors of other airlines through codeshare agreements. Following is a breakdown of traffic upon all Republic Airways Holdings airlines as of December 31, 2013.[12]

Regional Brand Mainline Airline Parent % of Republic Traffic
United Express United Airlines United Continental Holdings 29%
Delta Connection Delta Air Lines Delta Air Lines, Inc 30%
US Airways Express/AmericanConnection/American Eagle US Airways/American Airlines American Airlines Group 41%

Fleet overview[edit]

The airlines currently employ approximately 5,000 aviation professionals and operate 209 regional jet aircraft including 77 Embraer 175 aircraft, 66 Embraer 170 aircraft, 38 Embraer 145 aircraft and 4 Embraer 140 aircraft.

In February 2010, Republic Airways Holdings became one of the first customers for the 100-150 seat Bombardier CSeries aircraft.[13] As of December 2012, Republic Airways Holdings has still not indicated which airline subsidiary unit they would be placed with, although Republic Airways Holdings CEO reported that the CSeries could be used for a new, low cost, start-up airline tied to an alliance.[14]

Airline Operating as Flight number range Total Aircraft Seats Notes
F Y Total
Chautauqua Airlines AmericanConnection 15 ERJ-140 0 44 44 Last Flight August 19, 2014
Delta Connection DL6000-6099 41 ERJ-145 0 50 50
Republic Airlines Caesars Entertainment Corporation YX6100-6200 5 Embraer 190 0 99 99
US Airways Express US3100-3499 38 Embraer 175 0 80 80
20 Embraer 170 0 69 69
United Express UA3800-4941 28 Bombardier Q400 0 71/74 71/74
American Eagle YX4400-4899 31 Embraer 175 0 76 76 As of Jul 31, 2014. 38 by Q4 2014.
Shuttle America Delta Connection S5 6000-6299 16 Embraer 175 12 64 76
Delta Shuttle S5 5800-5999 12 Embraer 170 9 60 69
United Express UA3400-3599
38 Embraer 170 6 64 70

Further reading[edit]

  • Sandra Arnoult, "Three Heads are better than One," Air Transport World January 2006, p. 60.


  1. ^ "Contact Us". Republic Airways Holdings. Archived from the original on April 30, 2009. Retrieved May 19, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Contact Us". Republic Ariways Holdings. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 38. St. James Press, 2001 via
  4. ^ Republic Airways Holdings - - Retrieved February 12, 2010
  5. ^ a b c d e Republic Airways History - – Retrieved February 12, 2010
  6. ^ Segal, Dave (2009-07-31). "Republic Air increases its stake in Mokulele". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Archived from the original on 2009-08-01. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  7. ^ Daykin, Tom (2010-04-13). "New name for Midwest-Frontier airline: Frontier". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  8. ^ "Does Frontier Have a Future?". BusinessWeek. 2011-11-08. Archived from the original on 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2012-05-17. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Republic Airways Continues Attack On Pilots Group With Sham Furloughs. (2011-09-08). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Profile: Republic Airways Holdings Inc (RJET.O) - - Retrieved March 16, 2014
  13. ^ Bombardier Inc. (February 25, 2010). "Republic Airways Holdings Becomes First North American Customer for Bombardier CSeries Aircraft with Order for up to 80 Airliners". Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  14. ^ Joshua Freed (May 23, 2012). Bloomberg BusinessWeek, ed. "Republic Airways CEO talks Bombardier jet plans". Retrieved December 18, 2012. 

External links[edit]