Trans States Airlines

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Trans States Airlines
Trans States Airlines (TSA - Trans States).png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded1982 (as Resort Air)
Ceased operationsApril 1, 2020
AOC #RAIA379A[1]
HubsAs United Express:
Frequent-flyer programMileage Plus
(United Express)
AllianceStar Alliance (United Express)
Fleet size45 (at time of closure)
Parent companyTrans States Holdings, Inc.
HeadquartersBridgeton, Missouri
Key peopleHulas Kanodia (Chairman)
Richard A. Leach
Brian Randow

Trans States Airlines was a regional airline owned by Trans States Holdings and headquartered in Bridgeton, Missouri.[2]

At the time of its closing, the airline operated flights for United Airlines under the United Express brand. Trans States Airlines ceased all operations on April 1, 2020.[3]


The company began operations as Resort Air in 1982.[4] As an independent commuter air carrier, Resort Air operated Swearingen Metro propjets from a small hub located in St. Louis (STL) with service to Carbondale, Illinois; Columbia, Missouri; Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Joplin, MO; Lake of the Ozarks, MO; Springfield, IL; and Springfield, MO.[5] In 1985, the company entered into an agreement with Trans World Airlines (TWA) to operate as Trans World Express serving six cities in Missouri and Illinois.

Resort Air changed its name to Trans States Airlines in 1989. That same year, TSA began operations on the west coast as USAir Express at Los Angeles (LAX) and by 1995 was serving Fresno, Monterey, Ontario, CA, Palm Springs, San Diego, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara nonstop from LAX with British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31 propjets.[6] By 1999, Trans States was operating BAe Jetstream 31 flights from LAX as US Airways Express nonstop to just four destinations in California: Fresno, Palm Springs, San Diego and Santa Barbara.[7]

On the east coast, in 1995, TSA began operations as a code share feeder airline into New York City JFK Airport as United Express.[4] By 1999, Trans States had begun operations as a Delta Connection code share air carrier for Delta Air Lines at New York JFK Airport with Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets and British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 41 propjets with nonstop service to Albany, NY, Baltimore, Greensboro, NC, Hartford/Springfield, Norfolk, VA, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Richmond, VA and Rochester, NY.[8]

The call sign "Waterski" and the ICAO 3-letter identifier "LOF," which stands for 'Lodge of the Four Seasons', are from the early days when the company was operated as Resort Air and took visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.

In 2015, the airline carried 3.6 million passengers.[9]

In February 2020, the airline announced their intent to gradually cease operations through 2020 and transfer their fleet to ExpressJet Airlines per an agreement with United Airlines. However, on March 17, 2020, CEO Rick Leach sent a memo to employees stating that due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on aviation, the airline would cease operations on April 1, 2020, much earlier than originally expected.[10][3] Compass Airlines, another regional airline owned by Trans States Holdings, also announced a cessation of operations effective April 7, 2020, leaving GoJet Airlines as the only operating airline owned by Trans States Holdings.

The final Trans States Airlines flight was United Express Flight 4695 from Springfield, Missouri to Denver, Colorado on April 1, 2020.

St. Louis TWA Express Hub Operations in 1990[edit]

Trans States was operating 48-passenger ATR-42 and 19-passenger Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner (Metro III model) propjets in Trans World Express code share service for Trans World Airlines at this time from the TWA hub in St. Louis with nonstop flights to the following destinations:[11]

St. Louis TWA Express Hub Operations in 1995[edit]

By 1995, Trans States had expanded its Trans World Express code sharing operations at the TWA St. Louis hub and was operating ATR-42, ATR-72, British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31 and BAe Jetstream 41, and Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprops with nonstop flights to the following destinations:[12]


Prior to its shutdown, the airline operated to the following destinations under the United Express brand:[13]

City Country (Subdivision) IATA Airport Notes
Montréal Canada (Quebec) YUL Montréal–Trudeau International Airport
Birmingham United States (Alabama) BHM Birmingham–Shuttlesworth International Airport
Flagstaff United States (Arizona) FLG Flagstaff Pulliam Airport
Tucson United States (Arizona) TUS Tucson International Airport
Fayetteville United States (Arkansas) XNA Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport
Little Rock United States (Arkansas) LIT Little Rock National Airport
Monterey United States (California) MRY Monterey Regional Airport
Colorado Springs United States (Colorado) COS City of Colorado Springs Municipal Airport
Denver United States (Colorado) DEN Denver International Airport Hub
Durango United States (Colorado) DRO Durango–La Plata County Airport
Grand Junction United States (Colorado) GJT Grand Junction Regional Airport
Gunnison United States (Colorado) GUC Gunnison–Crested Butte Regional Airport Seasonal
Hayden/Steamboat Springs United States (Colorado) HDN Yampa Valley Airport
Montrose/Telluride United States (Colorado) MTJ Montrose Regional Airport
Fort Walton Beach United States (Florida) VPS Destin–Fort Walton Beach Airport
Idaho Falls United States (Idaho) IDA Idaho Falls Regional Airport
Chicago United States (Illinois) ORD O'Hare International Airport Hub
Moline United States (Illinois) MLI Quad City International Airport
Peoria United States (Illinois) PIA General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport
Evansville United States (Indiana) EVV Evansville Regional Airport
South Bend United States (Indiana) SBN South Bend International Airport
Des Moines United States (Iowa) DSM Des Moines International Airport
Wichita United States (Kansas) ICT Wichita Eisenhower National Airport
Kansas City United States (Missouri) MCI Kansas City International Airport
Louisville United States (Kentucky) SDF Louisville International Airport
Detroit United States (Michigan) DTW Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Grand Rapids United States (Michigan) GRR Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Lansing United States (Michigan) LAN Capital Region International Airport
Traverse City United States (Michigan) TVC Cherry Capital Airport
St. Louis United States (Missouri) STL St. Louis Lambert International Airport
Springfield United States (Missouri) SGF Springfield–Branson National Airport
Billings United States (Montana) BIL Billings Logan International Airport
Great Falls United States (Montana) GTF Great Falls International Airport
Helena United States (Montana) HLN Helena Regional Airport
Kalispell United States (Montana) FCA Glacier Park International Airport FAA LID code is GPI
Missoula United States (Montana) MSO Missoula International Airport
Lincoln United States (Nebraska) LNK Lincoln Airport
Omaha United States (Nebraska) OMA Eppley Airfield
Albuquerque United States (New Mexico) ABQ Albuquerque International Sunport
Santa Fe United States (New Mexico) SAF Santa Fe Regional Airport
Buffalo United States (New York) BUF Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Rochester United States (New York) ROC Greater Rochester International Airport
Greensboro United States (North Carolina) GSO Piedmont Triad International Airport
Raleigh/Durham United States (North Carolina) RDU Raleigh–Durham International Airport
Bismarck United States (North Dakota) BIS Bismarck Municipal Airport
Dickinson United States (North Dakota) DIK Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport
Fargo United States (North Dakota) FAR Hector International Airport
Minot United States (North Dakota) MOT Minot International Airport
Williston United States (North Dakota) ISN Sloulin Field International Airport
Akron/Canton United States (Ohio) CAK Akron–Canton Regional Airport
Cleveland United States (Ohio) CLE Hopkins International Airport
Columbus United States (Ohio) CMH John Glenn Columbus International Airport
Dayton United States (Ohio) DAY Dayton International Airport
Oklahoma City United States (Oklahoma) OKC Will Rogers World Airport
Tulsa United States (Oklahoma) TUL Tulsa International Airport
Medford United States (Oregon) MFR Rogue Valley International–Medford Airport
Erie United States (Pennsylvania) ERI Erie International Airport
Providence United States (Rhode Island) PVD T. F. Green Airport
Greenville/Spartanburg United States (South Carolina) GSP Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport
Rapid City United States (South Dakota) RAP Rapid City Regional Airport
Sioux Falls United States (South Dakota) FSD Sioux Falls Regional Airport
Knoxville United States (Tennessee) TYS McGhee Tyson Airport
Memphis United States (Tennessee) MEM Memphis International Airport
Amarillo United States (Texas) AMA Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport
El Paso United States (Texas) ELP El Paso International Airport
Lubbock United States (Texas) LBB Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport
Midland United States (Texas) MAF Midland International Airport
Roanoke United States (Virginia) ROA Roanoke Regional Airport
Madison United States (Wisconsin) MSN Dane County Regional Airport
Milwaukee United States (Wisconsin) MKE Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport
Casper United States (Wyoming) CPR Casper–Natrona County International Airport
Cody United States (Wyoming) COD Yellowstone Regional Airport


Prior to its shutdown, the Trans States Airlines fleet consisted of the following aircraft:

An ERJ 145EP at Washington Dulles International Airport
Trans State Airlines Fleet
Aircraft In service Passengers Operated For Notes
Embraer ERJ-145 45[14] 50 United Express Most to transfer to ExpressJet
Total 45

In October 2009, Trans States Holdings announced an agreement to purchase 50 Mitsubishi MRJ90 with options for 50 more.[15] Trans States Holdings held conversion rights to take the smaller, 76-seat MRJ70 instead of the 92-seat MRJ90 dependent on the scope clause environment by the time the airline took delivery.[16] The order was cancelled as of October 2019 due to concerns that the Mitsubishi SpaceJet M90 aircraft violates the US Scope clause laws.[17]

In April 2013, Trans States Airlines began taking delivery of six former Passaredo Linhas Aéreas ERJ-145s.[18]

In 2015 Trans States began parking their United Express ERJ-145ER's, in exchange for ERJ-145XR's transferred from ExpressJet Airlines.

Previously operated turboprop aircraft[edit]

Prior to becoming an all-jet airline, Trans States operated several different turboprop aircraft types including:

These propjet aircraft were operated in code share feeder services for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Trans World Airlines (TWA), USAir and US Airways.[19]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • July 14, 2004
  • June 16, 2010
    • Trans States Airlines Flight 8050, operated and marketed as a United Express flight, overran the runway at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport and sustained damage to the front of the aircraft with a nose gear collapse. Both pilots and one passenger sustained minor injuries.[20]
  • March 1, 2011 at 6:45 am EST
    • A US Airways Embraer 145 operated by Trans States Airlines was being pushed back from the gate at Bradley International Airport for a departure to Pittsburgh when the front nose gear collapsed and the front of the plane dropped to the tarmac. None of the 29 passengers were injured.[21]
  • September 4, 2011
    • Trans States Airlines Flight 3363 originating from Chicago IL, operated as a United Express flight, left the runway during landing at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. The aircraft, with 44 passengers on board, sustained damage to the main gear and belly, as well as to the right wing. There were no injuries to passengers or crew.[22]
  • February 22, 2012
    • Trans States Airlines operating as United Express Flight 3350 originating from Chicago O'Hare, IL to Rochester, NY was on approach to land but overran the end of the runway by about 50–75 feet and came to a stop with all gear off the paved surface. There were no injuries. The passengers disembarked via mobile stairs and were bussed to the terminal.
  • August 7, 2018
    • A Trans States Airlines Embraer 145 operating as Flight 4697 from Washington Dulles to Providence, RI was forced to divert to John F. Kennedy International Airport after reports of smoke in the cabin. The aircraft was evacuated on the runway. Three of the 53 passengers received treatment at the scene.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  2. ^ "Trans States Airlines :: Corporate Information". Retrieved 2012-10-05. "Executive Offices Trans States Airlines 11495 Navaid Rd. Suite 340 Bridgeton, Missouri 63044"
  3. ^ a b Jacob Barker. "Regional carrier Trans States Airlines to stop flying April 1 as airlines reel from coronavirus". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b TSA History Archived 2010-11-24 at the Wayback Machine November 12, 2009
  5. ^, May 1, 1984 Resort Air route map
  6. ^, April 2, 1995 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Los Angeles flight schedules for USAir Express
  7. ^, June 1, 1999 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Los Angeles flight schedules
  8. ^, June 1, 1999 Official Airline Guide (OAG), New York JFK flight schedules
  9. ^ "Trans States Airlines :: About Our Airline". Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2012-10-05.
  10. ^ "Memo from Rick Leach to Trans States Airlines employees". March 17, 2020.
  11. ^, 1990 Trans States Airlines/Trans World Express route map
  12. ^, April 2, 1995 Official Airline Guide (OAG), St. Louis flight schedules
  13. ^ "Route Map". Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  14. ^ "Trans States Airlines Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 2020-04-01.
  15. ^ "Trans States Holdings Signs LOI with Mitsubishi Aircraft for Purchase of 100 MRJ Aircraft" (PDF) (Press release). 2009-10-02. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
  16. ^ "Mitsubishi Specifies Certification Schedule for MRJ". AIN Online. 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Trans States Airlines takes on six ex-Passaredo ERJ-145s". CH Aviation. 2013-04-26. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
  19. ^, photos of Trans States Airlines aircraft
  20. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: Trans States E145 at Ottawa on Jun 16th 2010, runway overrun". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  21. ^ "Plane Emergency At Bradley". tribunedigital-thecourant.
  22. ^ "No injuries after plane slides off Ottawa runway". Ottawa.

External links[edit]