I mentioned in an earlier post that US Airways canceled the codesharing agreement with Mesa in 2005 following their second bankruptcy filing. Mesa found a home for some of the US Airways airplanes (EMB-145s) with a new Delta codeshare, which will be discussed in a later blog post. Several of the idled CRJ-200 regional jets were put into the new United codesharing deal at the Denver, Chicago O’Hare, and Dulles airports.
US Airways pathway out of bankruptcy was a reverse merger with America West Airlines in September 2005. It was called a “reverse” merger because the smaller airline took over the larger airline but rebranded the final merged carrier as US Airways because of universal product recognition. Mesa had thirty-eight CRJ-900s, eighteen CRJ-200s, and six Dash 8-200s in the America West system, and these airplanes were rolled into the newly merged US Airways system.
The merger not only had Mesa rebranding its airplanes in the US Airways livery, but also allowed for expansion opportunities for Mesa. The number of CRJ-200s were gradually reduced to ten by the time Mesa declared bankruptcy in 2010, and the CRJ-200s were eliminated altogether post-bankruptcy. US Airways wanted larger regional jets to expand into other markets, so Mesa leased nine CRJ-900s in 2013 from Bombardier to add to their US Airways Express fleet. These additional CRJ-900s came from the defunct Uruguayan airline “Pluna”. This gave Mesa 47 CRJ-900s with the new merged US Airways.
The America West Express CRJ-900s were rebranded with US Airways paint after American West and US Airways merged. (Photo of N915FJ in new paint courtesy of Zaka Khogyani)
The America West Express Dash 8-200s based in Phoenix were repainted US Airways' colors.
The CRJ-200s also were repainted in US Airways colors, but eventually they went away.
In March 2013, Mesa leased nine CRJ-900s from Bombardier that had come from defunct Pluna Airlines in Uruguay, which were placed into the US Airways Express system.