ExpressJet Airlines today filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in Delaware and ceased all flight operations.
It is tough for the people now looking for work, again. The airline industry is known for its ability to “eat” careers. Fortunately, the US airline industry is looking for people – but having been burned by an airline job going phut, do you really want another one? Take a look at this chart demonstrating the cyclicality of the US regional airline business. You need a strong constitution to stomach the career ride. And hope for a job with a major ASAP.
Looking at the Commuter and Small Carrier categories, we see the following. The pandemic was brutal and the recovery hasn’t been easy for these airlines.
For ExpressJet it’s been even tougher. You are simply not going to recover when things slide like this.
Regionals are cutting markets while some markets seem to be holding their own. But a regional airline does not control its business. Yesterday’s Air Wisconsin news is an example. Absent a strong, supportive, major airline, US regionals are under the greatest pressure.
As a feeder to major airlines, regionals live off the market’s scraps. Moving traffic from hubs to smaller communities and doing so under the tightest cost controls. Many times your correspondent has been advised “because the flight is short”, or some other pathetic excuse, that there is no drink service on a regional flight. Any excuse not to open a soda can for a few drops of liquid over a few blocks of ice? That is how tight costs are – and most likely the truth behind the no-service excuses.
Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.