Shuttle America

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Shuttle America Airlines
Shuttleamericalogo.png
IATA
S5
ICAO
TCF
Callsign
MERCURY[1]
Founded 1995
Hubs
Frequent-flyer program
Airport lounge
  • Delta Sky Club (Delta Connection)
  • United Club (United Express)
Alliance
Fleet size 68
Destinations See Below
Parent company Republic Airways Holdings
Headquarters Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Key people Bryan Bedford (CEO)
Website http://www.shuttleamerica.com

Shuttle America Corporation is a regional airline based in Indianapolis, Indiana,[2] USA. It feeds United Airlines flights at Chicago under the United Express brand, and feeds Delta Air Lines flights at Atlanta, New York-LaGuardia, and New York-JFK under the Delta Connection brand. Shuttle America also operates Delta Shuttle's three East Coast routes, serving Boston, Washington, D.C., and Chicago from New York-LaGuardia.

History[edit]

N801SA boards at Bradley International Airport (BDL) to Wilmington, DE (ILG) in 1999.

Shuttle America was established in 1995 by former CEO David Hackett, and began operations on November 12, 1998 [3] as a low-fare commuter airline, headquartered in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, the location of Hartford's Bradley International Airport. Shuttle America's first route was Hartford, Connecticut to Buffalo, New York. Shuttle America got much publicity for their launch because of their "super-low $29 fares". Shuttle America's first aircraft; registered N801SA, was a 50-seat Bombardier Dash 8-300 with leather seats and a very creative and patriotic paint scheme. Shuttle America had rapid growth in its first year, adding more aircraft and destinations.[4]

In 1999, Shuttle America made a controversial move to reach the Boston market. Instead of choosing the busy Logan Airport in East Boston, Shuttle America chose a nearby regional airport, Hanscom Field. Located in Bedford, Massachusetts, just 12 miles (19 km) west of Boston, it had amenities not found at the larger Logan Airport. With free parking, rental cars, and convenience to the I-95 highway, it was promoted as "Hassle-free Hanscom Field". From Hanscom, Shuttle America served Buffalo, LaGuardia Airport in New York, Trenton, New Jersey, and Greensboro, North Carolina via Trenton. At that time Trenton, New Jersey was acting as a hub because of its central location in their route network.

At the peak time of their operation without codeshares, the airline was flying six Dash 8-300 aircraft and transported over 3000 passengers per day. Additional destinations in their route network during this time period include Albany, New York, Islip, New York, Norfolk, Virginia, and Wilmington, Delaware. Despite the success in quickly expanding throughout the region, the airline attained financial trouble with its growth.

Just 5 months before the September 11, 2001 attacks April 17, 2001, Shuttle America went into bankruptcy and was purchased by Wexford Holdings LLC., who at the time also owned Chautauqua Airlines. Shuttle America then started flying as US Airways Express in a codeshare agreement, adding service to US Airways' Philadelphia and Pittsburgh hubs as well as seasonal service to Martha's Vineyard, MA. At the same time, Shuttle America was transitioning to the smaller Dash 8-100 and started taking deliveries of former Chautauqua Saab 340 aircraft. The Dash 8-100's had been leased from Allegheny Airlines and were a temporary stop gap measure to allow for the spool up of the Saab 340 fleet. Eventually, the Dash 8-300's were sold to various airlines including Caribbean Star and Piedmont Airlines while the independent branding of Shuttle America was phased out in lieu of a full network of codeshares with US Airways and United Airlines with subsequent route changes to feed those carriers. In 2002, Shuttle America moved its headquarters to Fort Wayne, Indiana. In spring 2005, it was purchased by Republic Airways Holdings for $1 million. Headquarters were moved from Fort Wayne to Republic's Indianapolis base shortly afterwards, and the Saab 340 fleet was replaced by Embraer 170 aircraft operating for Delta Connection and United Express.

In October 2008, a short-lived operating partnership was established with Mokulele Airlines to feed their hub in Honolulu with three aircraft.

Former Mokulele Airlines Embraer 170 operated by Shuttle America

These Embraer 170 aircraft operated in the livery of Mokulele Airlines until October 2009, when Republic entered into a new joint venture agreement with Mesa Air Group, with the latter airline's Canadair Regional Jet aircraft operating jet flights within Hawaii.[5]

28JUL2014

Shuttle America (S5, Fort Wayne) will absorb Chautauqua Airlines (RP, Indianapolis Int'l) by year-end as part of parent firm Republic Holdings' move to reduce costs through a reduction of total Air Operator Certificates. Republic Holdings in also parent to Republic Airlines (YX, Chicago O'Hare).

World Airline News reports CEO Bryan Bedford issued a short statement to Group employees indicating that Chautauqua's Embraer (São José dos Campos) fleet will be integrated into the Shuttle America operating certificate resulting in the carrier's closure. Chautauqua currently operates fourteen ERJ-140s for American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) and forty-four ERJ-145s for Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson). In any case, the airline's ERJ-140s are scheduled to be retired before the merger.

"I met with the leadership team and announced that by the end of the year the Company intends to consolidate the ERJ flying activity currently operated on the Chautauqua airline operating certificate onto our Shuttle America airline operating certificate," he said.

Bedford said the streamlining of its operations would allow for improved efficiency in the Group's training programs as well as spare parts and supply-chain management systems.

Chautauqua operates more than 700 scheduled passenger services a day to 98 airports in 31 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada through feeder services for American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) under the American Connection banner and Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) under the Delta Connection banner. [6]

Operations[edit]

Shuttle America currently has five crew member bases: Columbus, Chicago O'Hare, Indianapolis, Newark, and New York-LaGuardia. Its fleet comprises Embraer 170 jetliners with a two-cabin seating configuration, allowing for 6 seats in First Class and 64 seats in economy, and 12 First Class seats on the E-175. These aircraft were initially operated by sister company Chautauqua Airlines, but Chautauqua was forced to transfer their 170s to Shuttle America after the pilots' union at American Airlines claimed the aircraft violated a "scope clause" regulating the size of regional aircraft operated by airlines that also operate under the American Airlines IATA airline designator code. Beginning in July, 2008, slightly larger Embraer 175 aircraft began to replace the Embraer 170 fleet in service with Delta. Towards the end of 2008, the airline achieved a major feat by being chosen to replace Delta Shuttle's MD-88 operations between New York's La Guardia Airport and Washington Reagan National Airport on the same hourly schedule that Delta has operated with larger aircraft for decades. Beginning June, 2010, new flights by Shuttle America on behalf of Delta Shuttle will serve Chicago's O'Hare International Airport from New York-LaGuardia with 11 round trips per day.

Callsign[edit]

On July 3, 2007, Shuttle America received approval from the ICAO to change its ATC callsign from Shuttlecraft to Mercury. However, prior to the changing of the callsign to Mercury it was changed to Crossroads, but the word cross was confusing to air traffic controllers. This change was necessary due to the similar sounding Air Shuttle callsign used by Mesa Airlines. Although Mercury proved to be a suitable callsign, at busier airports and TRACONs it can often tend to sound much like "American", but with very different ranges in flight numbers between the two carriers it does not raise much of a real issue for pilots and controllers alike. The IDENT code remained the same as TCF. The IATA code of the airline has remained S5 through this time.

United Express Embraer 170 operated by Shuttle America
Delta Connection Embraer 175 operated by Shuttle America

Destinations[edit]

Operated as United Express[edit]

Operated as Delta Connection[edit]

Fleet[edit]

As of December 2013, the Shuttle America fleet consists of the following aircraft:[7]

Aircraft Total Orders Passengers Operated For Notes
F Y+ Y Total
Embraer E-170 40 2 6 16 48 70 United Express 2 planes on wet lease from Republic Airlines For Delta
2 unbranded planes
12 9 12 48 69 Delta Connection
Embraer E-175 16 12 12 52 76 Delta Connection/Delta Shuttle
Total 68 2

Incidents[edit]

Shuttle America has not lost a plane or had a fatality, it has however had incidents in its history.

References[edit]

  1. ^ ICAO8585 Edition 141
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Republic Airways Holdings. Retrieved on May 19, 2009.
  3. ^ Flight International 12–18 April 2005
  4. ^ "Shuttle America Fleet of DH8 (History)". Airfleets. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  5. ^ "Mokulele, go! airlines merging". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2009-11-13. 
  6. ^ http://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/29947-shuttle-america-to-absorb-chautauqua-airlines
  7. ^ "Shuttle America fleet". ch-aviation.ch. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  8. ^ Airliner Makes Belly Landing at Newark Airport. Airnation.net (2012-02-27). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  9. ^ FAA investigates near-miss by 2 planes over NYC. CBS News (2013-06-21). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.

External links[edit]