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Mesa takes deliveries of Dash 8s

In February 1995, Mesa Airlines signed a new codesharing agreement with United Airlines for a continuing partnership at the Denver Stapleton airport. This deal called for adding seven, 50-passenger Dash 8-300 aircraft to the Mesa fleet. These airplanes had originally been operated by Air Wisconsin for United Airlines out of Chicago, then Atlantic Coast Airlines out of Washington Dulles airport, and finally Mesa.

The Dash-8-300s did not have drop-down oxygen masks (not required on the East Coast where the enroute altitudes were much lower), but because Mesa was planning to operate them on routes with much higher minimum enroute altitudes, the company was required to have standby oxygen systems installed before they went online.

The 300 series Dash 8s were greatly restricted on the passenger load capacity and weight they could carry out of high-altitude airports like Denver, Grand Junction, and Durango. Mesa worked with Bombardier to develop a more powerful Dash 8 that would work better for the hot, high-altitude airports. The end result was an airplane with the 37-passenger Dash 8-100 fuselage, but more powerful engines similar to the 300 series. This new model was called the Dash 8-200s.

In March 1995, Mesa signed an agreement to trade in the Dash 8-300s for the newer 200 series, and to take additional aircraft for a total of twenty-five. The Dash 8-200s were to be delivered between early 1996 and March 1997. The Dash 8-200s were also used in the America West Express system out of Phoenix.

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