|Founded||1985 (as Express Airlines I)|
|Parent company||Delta Air Lines|
|Headquarters||Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport
|Key people||Bill Lentsch (President and CEO)|
Endeavor Air is an American regional airline that operates as Delta Connection for Delta Air Lines. The airline was founded as Express Airlines I in 1985 and changed names to Pinnacle Airlines in 2002. In 2012, Pinnacle's parent company filed for chapter 11 reorganization, then emerged as a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines. The name of the airline was changed to Endeavor Air on August 1, 2013.
Its corporate headquarters are on the property of Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, and it has hubs at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, New York's LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport. Until the restructuring, Endeavor also operated hubs at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Memphis International Airport. In March 2017, Endeavor announced it would be re-opening an Atlanta crew and maintenance base, operating CRJ-200 aircraft at this hub. By July 2017, Endeavor had five crew and ten maintenance bases.
Express Airlines I
In February 1985, the airline was established as Express Airlines I, offering regional airline service to major airlines. The airline's founder, Michael J. Brady, had planned to create several regional airlines under parent company Phoenix Airline Services, Inc, hence the roman numeral "I" in the name. A second company, established as Express Airlines II (known as "Express II"), was created by spinning off Express I's operations at Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport to a separate entity. However, Express II contracted with Express I to provide crew scheduling, operational control, and training. Express II was later recombined back into Express I.
Express I began its first code sharing agreement, in May 1985, with Republic Airlines. Republic was the dominant carrier in Memphis but, in keeping with the hub-and-spoke concept, wanted to add more smaller cities and free up its larger DC-9 jets to serve longer stage-length routes. Express I accomplished this by adding service, operating as Republic Express, to three cities using BAe Jetstream 31 aircraft. Within six months, Express Airlines I was operating in ten markets using nine Jetstream 31s and two Saab 340 aircraft.
By its first anniversary, Republic Express, as the service was known, was operating 20 Jetstream 31s and seven Saab 340s in 32 markets. Following regulatory and shareholder approvals, Northwest Airlines acquired Republic Airlines on October 1, 1986. Subsequently, the Republic Express brand merged with the Northwest Airlink brand.
Over the next decade, Express I provided airline services as Northwest Airlink to 56 cities in the Southeast and upper Mid-West. In 1997, Northwest Airlines bought Express I from Phoneix Airline Services. On April 1, 1997, Express I became a wholly owned subsidiary of Northwest Airlines. In order to consolidate the many Airlink systems operated at that time, Express I ceased flying from Minneapolis-St. Paul, and instead concentrated on the Memphis hub.
In August 1997, Express I moved its corporate headquarters to Memphis, allowing all the various departments to function from its main base of operations. On May 7, 1999, Express I became the launch operator of the Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) at Northwest.
Express I further expanded with the development of three additional Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO) facilities related to CRJ operations. The primary CRJ MRO is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and is capable of handling up to four aircraft under cover. Other two CRJ maintenance sites are located in Indiana at South Bend and Fort Wayne.
On May 8, 2002, Express Airlines I changed its name to Pinnacle Airlines. A new holding company, Pinnacle Airlines Corporation, had been created earlier that year. Pinnacle Airlines, Inc was moved from Northwest Airlines, Inc to Pinnacle Airlines Corporation. Over the next decade, the parent company acquired other airlines, such as Colgan Air and Mesaba Airlines.
In 2006, Northwest agreed to a new Air Service Agreement (ASA) that contracted Pinnacle to fly 124 CRJs until 2017. A clause within the ASA stipulated that if Pinnacle and the Air Line Pilots Association did not agree on a new pilot contract by March 31, 2007, then Northwest could remove up to 17 CRJs from Pinnacle's fleet. After the deadline passed with no new pilot contract, Northwest exercised its right to remove 17 CRJs from Pinnacle, starting in September 2008 at a rate of two CRJs per month. These 17 CRJs were handed over to Mesaba Airlines in 2008, which Pinnacle's parent company later acquired in 2010.
Northwest had also allowed Pinnacle to seek flying for other carriers. On April 30, 2007, Pinnacle Airlines Corp. signed a 10-year contract with Delta Air Lines to be a Delta Connection carrier. The 16 Bombardier CRJ 900's began delivery in November 2007 and the deliveries were completed in May 2009. The first batch of delivered aircraft were based in Atlanta and began service in December 2007. On June 10, 2008 Pinnacle announced that Delta planned to withdraw from the contract by July 31, 2008 for failure to make its timetable. However, on July 18, 2008 Delta announced that an agreement had been reached that would allow Pinnacle to continue flying for Delta under the terms of the initial contract. The remaining 4 CRJ-900s would be delivered between January and May 2009, at which point all 15 CRJ-900s would be in service for Delta Connection.
On January 4, 2012, Pinnacle's fleet grew when its parent company moved aircraft and personnel from Mesaba Airlines, which ceased operations when the operating certificate was returned to the FAA.
On April 1, 2012, Pinnacle's parent company and its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The airline discontinued its operation of its Saab 340 and Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft by the end of November 2012. On May 1, 2013, Pinnacle Airlines Corporation emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization as a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines. After restructuring, the airline was renamed to Endeavor Air, its headquarters were moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and agreements with Delta were made to operate 76-seat and 50-seat regional jets. On October 27, 2016 Endeavor Air adopted EDV as its new ICAO airline code and "Endeavor" as its callsign, replacing its previous code of FLG and "Flagship" callsign. The first flight to operate under the new callsign was EDV3816 from Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City to New York–JFK.
Endeavor Air operates crew bases at:
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport
- Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- John F. Kennedy International Airport
- LaGuardia Airport
- Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport
Endeavor operates the world's largest fleet of Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft.
As of May 2018, Endeavor Air operates the following aircraft:
Incidents and accidents
- On December 1, 1993, Northwest Airlink Flight 5719 (operated by Express II) collided with trees and crashed while on approach to Chisholm-Hibbing Airport in Hibbing, Minnesota. All sixteen passengers and both pilots were killed. An investigation revealed that the captain had a history of intimidating and hostile behavior toward first officers. The captain's actions during the flight led to a breakdown in communication between the pilots, who lost track of their altitude while attempting a night landing in poor weather.
- On October 14, 2004, Pinnacle Airlines Flight 3701 crashed in a residential area in Jefferson City, Missouri. It was on an empty repositioning flight from Little Rock, Arkansas to Minneapolis, and lost power in both engines when the crew attempted to exceed the CRJ-200's capabilities and reach its maximum certified operating altitude. They were unable to restart the engines, and made an unsuccessful attempt to glide the aircraft to Jefferson City. Both crew members were killed.
- On March 11, 2005, a CRJ-200 operating as flight 2823 from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Milwaukee, Wisconsin ran off the runway on landing. One of the aircraft's hydraulic systems lost pressure in flight, resulting in the aircraft's ground spoilers not deploying on landing. Contributing to the incident was a crosswind approaching company and aircraft limits and reduced braking ability on the runway, which was covered with snow at the time. The aircraft suffered substantial damage from colliding with signage and lighting, and was further damaged by the crew's attempt to taxi to the gate. None of the 12 aboard were injured, and the aircraft was repaired.
- On April 12, 2007, Pinnacle Airlines flight 4712 overran the runway upon landing at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan after a flight from Minneapolis. The CRJ-200 was damaged, but none of the 52 passengers and crew were injured. The NTSB determined that the cause of the accident was the "pilots’ decision to land at TVC without performing a landing distance assessment" which in turn was caused by fatigued pilots and ambiguous runway condition reports from the snow plow crew operating at the time. The report recommended more landing distance training, post-accident drug testing, and further criteria for runway closures in snow and ice conditions.
- The FAA fined Pinnacle over $1 million for allegedly operating two Canadair Regional Jets in 2009 and 2010 that were not in compliance with FAA regulations. On one of the aircraft, the flight crew performed procedures which should have been conducted by maintenance personnel; FAA inspectors had denied a request to make the work an operations task. On a second aircraft, Pinnacle is accused of failing to conduct proper monitoring of a cracked low-pressure turbine case.
- On January 24, 2012, a Pinnacle CRJ-200 was damaged beyond repair at T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island. A piece of ground equipment to which the aircraft was connected caught fire, severely damaging the aircraft's electrical systems.
- An Endeavor Air Bombardier CRJ200 from Toronto Pearson Airport, with 35 persons on board, slid off the taxiway while exiting the runway on arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport on January 5, 2014. The airport was closed shortly afterward because of ice and snow.
- "Pinnacle Airlines, Operator of Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express Flights, Files Chapter 11". Frequent Business Traveler. April 1, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
- "Welcome to Pinnacle Airlines Corp".
- "Pinnacle Airlines emerges from bankruptcy as a Delta subsidiary". May 1, 2013.
- "Pinnacle.com - Where We Are". Retrieved May 19, 2009.
- Phelps, David (January 25, 2013). "Pinnacle Airlines to move HQ, hundreds of employees to MSP". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved September 6, 2014.
- "Endeavor Air - About Us". Endeavor Air. 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
- "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. April 10, 2007. p. 64.
- "Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Pinnacle Airlines Corp". Retrieved September 24, 2014.
- Aircraft Accident Report, Controlled Collision With Terrain, Express II Airlines, Inc./Northwest Airlink Flight 5719, Jetstream BA-3100, N334PX, Hibbing, Minnesota, December 1, 1993 (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. May 24, 1994. NTSB/AAR-94/05. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- "About Us, Pinnacle Airlines".
- Langlois, Shawn (July 18, 2008). "Pinnacle shares soar as Delta stands by contract". MarketWatch. Retrieved July 18, 2008.
- Donahoe, Jane. "Pinnacle Airlines to move HQ to Minneapolis". Memphis Business Journal. Stuart Chamblin. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
- "Pinnacle to fly exclusively for Delta upon leaving bankruptcy". Skift.com. April 17, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2013.
- "Our Fleet | Endeavor Air". www.endeavorair.com. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
- "Endeavor Air to open Atlanta base in late-2Q17". ch-aviation. March 7, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- Aircraft Accident Report, Crash of Pinnacle Airlines Flight 3701, Bombardier CL-600-2B19, N8396A, Jefferson City, Missouri, October 14, 2004 (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. January 9, 2007. NTSB/AAR-07-01. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- "2008 Annual Report to Congress" (PDF). Retrieved January 14, 2015.
- Aircraft Accident Report, Runway Overrun During Landing, Pinnacle Airlines Flight 4712, Bombardier/Canadair Regional Jet CL600-2B19, N8905F, Traverse City, Michigan April 12, 2007 (PDF). National Transportation Safety Board. June 10, 2008. NTSB/AAR-08/02. Retrieved January 14, 2015.
- "Plane skids off runway NY's JFK, flights halted".
Media related to Endeavor Air at Wikimedia Commons