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Mesa Airlines buys WestAir Commuter Airlines.

In 1992, Mesa Airlines bought out WestAir Commuter Airlines and became a United Express carrier on the West Coast. WestAir was a long-established regional airline that began in 1972 when a Marin County, California, Britten-Norman airplane dealer started a small commuter airline out of San Francisco call Stol Air. He began with two Britten-Norman Islanders and later added a Trislander to the mix


That company was sold to Bruce Glaspell, who renamed it to WestAir and bought different airplanes. It became part of Pacific Express Holdings (a new airline formed to compete with United and PSA out of San Francisco), but later was spun off and sold again. The new owners moved it to Fresno.

WestAir, along with Air Wisconsin, became the first two United Express carriers in the country, and WestAir dominated the regional airline markets in California. By 1988, the company had 31 Embraer Bandeirantes, 12 Brasilias, 5 Shorts 360s, and three BAe 146 jets. WestAir Holdings created a new subsidiary in Seattle and Portland in 1989 to capture the markets abandoned when Cascade Airways folded. They named the new company North Pacific Air (NPA) flying Jetstreams. A short time later, the company created a second new subsidiary called Atlantic Coast Airlines, which was a United Express carrier at Washington Dulles and Chicago O’Hare airports.

Atlantic Coast Airlines was sold in 1991 and shortly thereafter, NPA was merged into WestAir. Mesa bought the merged company in 1992. There never was a good relationship between the WestAir pilots and Mesa management, and that relationship became more strained when Mesa started flying BE1900s out of Los Angeles under a subsidiary called CalPac, and then moved more BE1900s from their closed Columbus, Ohio operation (Superior Airlines) into the Seattle/Portland market.

United Airlines canceled WestAir’s codesharing agreement in 1998, and Mesa then closed the doors at WestAir.

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