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Mesa Airlines: Overview, Destinations, and Careers

mesa airlines

Welcome to Mesa Airlines, a leading US regional carrier operating as United Express and DHL Express. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional services and connecting travelers to a wide range of destinations across the United States and internationally. Whether you’re a passenger looking for a comfortable and affordable travel experience or an aspiring aviation professional seeking exciting career opportunities, Mesa Airlines has you covered.

At Mesa Airlines, we understand the importance of delivering top-notch services to our passengers. With our diverse fleet of regional jets and narrow-body aircraft, including Boeing 737-400F cargo planes for DHL Express, we ensure that our passengers reach their destinations safely and comfortably. Our commitment to excellence extends to our employees as well. We offer competitive compensation packages, including one of the highest pilot pay rates in the regional industry, and provide employee benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and travel perks.

If you’re considering a career in aviation, Mesa Airlines offers various opportunities. From pilot programs to the Mesa Pilot Development Program, we provide the necessary training and support to help you achieve your dream of flying. As a pilot with Mesa Airlines, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art aircraft and the chance to join our expanding team.

Ready to explore the world of Mesa Airlines? Read on to discover more about our pilot opportunities, employment benefits, fleet and aircraft, cargo operations, check-in and baggage allowance policies, crew bases, and much more.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • Mesa Airlines operates as United Express and DHL Express, providing regional air travel services.
  • The airline offers flights to various destinations across the United States and internationally.
  • Mesa Airlines is known for its top-notch services and has a wide range of career opportunities in the aviation industry.
  • The pilot programs at Mesa Airlines provide a clear path to a United flight deck.
  • Mesa Airlines offers competitive compensation packages, including high pilot pay rates and employee benefits.

Mesa Airlines Information

Information CategoryDetails
Alliance MembershipNone (operates as United Express and American Eagle)
Commenced OperationsOctober 12, 1980
AOC NumberMASA036A
Fleet Size110 aircraft (as of April 2023)
Number of Destinations200
Number of Employees3,400+ (as of June 2023)

Mesa Airlines Pilot Opportunities and Requirements

Mesa Airlines offers exciting pilot opportunities for those aspiring to fly with one of the leading regional carriers in the United States. As a pilot at Mesa Airlines, you can enjoy a fulfilling career and gain valuable experience in the aviation industry. Whether you’re a seasoned pilot looking to advance your career or a new pilot starting your journey, Mesa Airlines has programs tailored to suit your needs.

Mesa Airlines Pilot Programs

Mesa Airlines offers two pilot programs: the Direct-Entry Captain Program and the Near-Entry Captain Program. The Direct-Entry Captain Program is designed for experienced pilots who meet the minimum flight experience requirements and hold an ATP certificate. The program provides a clear path to the United flight deck upon successful completion of the Aviate Program and hiring requirements. On the other hand, the Near-Entry Captain Program is for pilots who have less flight experience but still meet the minimum requirements. This program offers the opportunity to gain flight hours and progress towards a Captain position with Mesa Airlines.

Mesa Airlines Pilot Requirements

To be eligible for the pilot programs at Mesa Airlines, applicants must meet certain requirements. These include holding a first-class medical certificate, having a valid ATP or Commercial Pilot Certificate, and being authorized to work in the United States. Additionally, pilots must have a minimum of 1,500 flight hours, with at least 1,000 hours of turbine time or 500 hours of turbine time and an accredited aviation degree. Mesa Airlines also requires pilots to pass a background check and drug/alcohol screening.

By joining Mesa Airlines as a pilot, you’ll have the opportunity to fly on state-of-the-art aircraft, receive a sign-on bonus, and enjoy competitive pay rates. The airline is actively hiring pilots and looking to expand its pilot workforce. Take the first step towards an exciting career with Mesa Airlines and join a team that values professionalism, safety, and excellence in aviation.

Mesa Airlines Employment Benefits and Compensation

Mesa Airlines offers a comprehensive employment package with competitive compensation and attractive benefits for its employees. Whether you’re a pilot, flight attendant, mechanic, dispatcher, or corporate professional, Mesa Airlines provides a rewarding career with exceptional perks.

One of the key highlights of working at Mesa Airlines is the competitive pilot pay. The airline offers some of the highest pilot pay rates in the regional industry, ensuring that pilots are rewarded for their expertise and dedication. First Officers can start with a pay rate of $100 per hour, while Captains can earn up to $215 per hour, based on their experience and position within the company. Mesa Airlines recognizes the value that pilots bring to the organization and compensates them accordingly.

In addition to attractive pay rates, Mesa Airlines also prioritizes employee benefits. The airline provides health insurance options, including medical, dental, and vision coverage, ensuring that employees have access to quality healthcare. Retirement plans are also offered, allowing employees to plan for their future and secure their financial well-being. Furthermore, Mesa Airlines offers travel benefits, giving employees the opportunity to explore various destinations with discounted or complimentary flights.

At Mesa Airlines, we believe in taking care of our employees and ensuring that their hard work is rewarded. We understand the importance of work-life balance and provide benefits that enhance the overall employee experience. Our aim is to create a supportive and rewarding environment where employees can thrive both personally and professionally.

Employee Benefits and Compensation Overview

Pilot Pay RatesStarting at $100 per hour for First Officers, up to $215 per hour for Captains
Health InsuranceComprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage
Retirement PlansOptions for long-term financial planning
Travel BenefitsDiscounted or complimentary flights for employees and their eligible dependents

At Mesa Airlines, we value our employees and strive to provide them with a rewarding career and a supportive work environment. Join our team and discover the exciting opportunities that await you at Mesa Airlines.

Mesa Airlines Fleet and Aircraft

Mesa Airlines fleet

Mesa Airlines operates a diverse fleet of regional jets and narrow-body aircraft. As United Express, the airline operates Embraer E175 and Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft. Mesa Airlines is also the only regional airline to operate narrow-body aircraft, including Boeing 737-400F cargo aircraft for DHL Express.

The fleet of Mesa Airlines consists of:

Aircraft TypeNumber of Aircraft
Embraer E17530
Bombardier CRJ-90020
Boeing 737-400F11

Mesa Airlines’ fleet of Embraer E175 aircraft offers passengers a comfortable and efficient flying experience. With a seating capacity of up to 76 passengers, these regional jets are known for their modern amenities and spacious cabins.

The Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft are another key component of Mesa Airlines’ fleet. These jets can accommodate up to 76 passengers and are designed for regional travel with their excellent performance and reliability.

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Additionally, Mesa Airlines operates Boeing 737-400F cargo aircraft on behalf of DHL Express. These narrow-body freighter aircraft play a crucial role in transporting cargo efficiently and reliably across various destinations.

Overall, Mesa Airlines’ diverse fleet allows the airline to serve both passengers and cargo customers effectively, offering a range of options for different travel needs.

Mesa Airlines Pilot Development Program

Mesa Airlines offers aspiring pilots the opportunity to join their Pilot Development Program, which provides a clear path to becoming a pilot with the airline. The program is designed to provide inexpensive and quick access to ATP training, allowing cadets to build the required flight time more efficiently. With the program’s flight hour sponsorship, aspiring pilots can gain valuable experience while minimizing financial barriers.

The Mesa Airlines Pilot Development Program is ideal for individuals who are passionate about aviation and looking to start their career as a pilot. The program aims to equip cadets with the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to succeed in the aviation industry. Through a combination of classroom instruction, simulator training, and flight hours, participants will develop the necessary competencies to become a pilot with Mesa Airlines.

Participants in the Pilot Development Program have the opportunity to earn competitive wages as a pilot with Mesa Airlines while repaying their loans. This unique program not only provides the necessary training but also offers financial support to aspiring pilots, making it an attractive option for those seeking a career in aviation. With the Mesa Airlines Pilot Development Program, cadets can embark on a fulfilling journey towards becoming a professional pilot.

Table: Mesa Airlines Pilot Development Program Details

Program FeaturesDetails
TrainingATP training with flight hour sponsorship
Financial SupportLoans available for program participants
Career PathClear path to becoming a pilot with Mesa Airlines
Competitive WagesEarn competitive wages as a pilot with Mesa Airlines
Career DevelopmentOpportunities for career growth and advancement

The Mesa Airlines Pilot Development Program offers a comprehensive training experience and a structured career path for aspiring pilots. With financial support, competitive wages, and opportunities for career development, this program provides a solid foundation for individuals looking to pursue a career in aviation. Join the program and take the first step towards a rewarding career as a pilot with Mesa Airlines.

Mesa Airlines Cargo Operations

Mesa Airlines Cargo Operations

Mesa Airlines operates cargo flights on behalf of DHL Express using Boeing 737-400F aircraft. As a trusted partner of DHL Express, Mesa Airlines plays a crucial role in the transportation of goods and packages around the world. With a dedicated cargo fleet and a strategic base at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Mesa Airlines ensures efficient and reliable cargo operations.

Our cargo fleet comprises state-of-the-art Boeing 737-400F aircraft, which are specifically designed to transport a wide range of cargo safely and securely. These aircraft have spacious cargo holds and advanced loading systems, allowing for seamless transportation of various types of shipments, including packages, parcels, and bulk cargo.

Mesa Airlines pilots and mechanics at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport work tirelessly to support the smooth operation of our cargo flights. Our experienced pilots are trained to handle the unique challenges of cargo operations, ensuring that the goods entrusted to us are delivered on time and in excellent condition.

Partnering with DHL Express, Mesa Airlines has established a reputation for exceptional cargo services. Our commitment to excellence, efficient operations, and reliable delivery has made us a preferred choice for businesses and individuals who rely on timely and secure cargo transportation.

Mesa Airlines Check-in and Baggage Allowance

When flying with Mesa Airlines, passengers have the convenience of checking in either online or at the airport. To ensure a smooth travel experience, it is recommended to check-in ahead of time online, especially during peak travel periods. Online check-in allows passengers to select seats, print boarding passes, and avoid long queues at the airport.

When it comes to baggage allowance, Mesa Airlines follows the policies set by United Airlines, as Mesa Airlines operates as United Express. The specific baggage allowances may vary depending on the ticket type and destination. It is important for passengers to familiarize themselves with the baggage policies in order to avoid any surprises or additional fees at the airport.

Baggage AllowanceEconomy ClassBusiness Class
Carry-On Baggage1 personal item
1 carry-on bag
1 personal item
2 carry-on bags
Checked BaggageUp to 2 bags
Maximum weight per bag: 50 lbs (23 kg)
Up to 2 bags
Maximum weight per bag: 70 lbs (32 kg)

Passengers are encouraged to check the Mesa Airlines website for the most up-to-date information on baggage allowances, as policies and restrictions may vary. It is also important to note that excess baggage fees may apply for any baggage that exceeds the allowed limits. To avoid any inconvenience, it is always recommended to plan and pack accordingly within the given guidelines.

Financial Information

Financial Data for the Past 5 Years

YearRevenueNet IncomeOperating CostsProfit MarginCapital Expenditures
2022$531 million-$182.7 million$497.5 million-34.4%$113.2 million
2021$503.6 million$16.6 million$505.5 million3.3%$55.1 million
2020$545.1 million$27.5 million$496.5 million5%$107.4 million
2019$723.4 million$47.8 million$643 million6.6%$201.3 million
2018$660.4 million$31.1 million$629.3 million4.7%$212.7 million

Debt and Liabilities

As of September 2022, Mesa Airlines had:

  • Total debt of $633.7 million
  • Current portion of long-term debt and finance leases of $92.5 million
  • Non-current operating lease liabilities of $16.7 million
  • Other non-current liabilities of $29.2 million

Market Share and Industry Ranking

  • Mesa Airlines has a 1.5% market share of U.S. domestic scheduled passenger service
  • It is the 13th largest regional airline in North America by fleet size

Stock Information

  • Symbol: MESA
  • Traded on Nasdaq
  • Current share price: $0.92 (as of December 5, 2023)
  • Market cap: $35.98 million (as of December 5, 2023)

Financial Forecasts and Analyst Opinions

  • Mesa Airlines is expected to remain unprofitable in 2023 with an estimated EPS of -$1.495
  • Analysts cite industry-wide pilot shortages, rising fuel costs, and debt burden as challenges for Mesa Airlines6

Overall, Mesa Airlines has faced declining revenues and losses in recent years as it operates in the challenging regional airline industry. Its small market share and lack of a major network put it at a disadvantage compared to larger competitors. However, its contracts with major airlines provide revenue stability. The company will need to improve profitability and address its debts going forward.

Mesa Airlines Hubs & Bases

Primary Hubs

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Phoenix, Arizona – Largest hub, headquarters
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Houston, Texas
    • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Washington D.C.

Secondary Hubs

  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Dallas, Texas
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Louisville International Airport (SDF), Louisville, Kentucky

Maintenance Bases

  • Phoenix, Arizona – Main maintenance base, line and hangar maintenance
  • Tucson, Arizona – Line maintenance
  • Dallas, Texas – Line and hangar maintenance
  • Houston, Texas – Line and hangar maintenance
  • Washington Dulles, Virginia – Line and hangar maintenance
  • El Paso, Texas – Line maintenance
  • Louisville, Kentucky – Line and hangar maintenance
  • Cincinnati, Ohio – Line and hangar maintenance

Partnerships and Alliances

AllianceUnited Airlines (Star Alliance)
Airline PartnersUnited Airlines, DHL Express
Codeshare AgreementsUnited Airlines, DHL Express
Loyalty Program PartnersUnited Airlines MileagePlus
Service PartnersDHL Express (cargo transport), United Airlines (ground handling, maintenance)
Corporate PartnershipsUnited Airlines (majority shareholder with 10% stake, board seat)

Key details:

  • Mesa operates regional flights for United Airlines as United Express and cargo flights for DHL Express
  • Part of the Star Alliance through partnership with United
  • Has codeshare agreements enabling flights to be marketed under United and DHL flight numbers
  • Allows accrual/redemption of United MileagePlus miles
  • DHL partnership focuses on cargo transport from their Cincinnati hub
  • United provides ground handling, maintenance support at airports
  • United recently acquired 10% stake in Mesa and a board seat

Community Spaces Sponsored by Mesa Airlines

Parks and Recreational Areas

Falcon Field Park (Mesa, AZ)

Falcon Field Park is a green oasis in Mesa, Arizona. It covers 5 acres in the historic Falcon Field Airport. The park is excellent for families. It has picnic areas, a playground for kids, a volleyball court, and grassy areas.

The park is on land where British RAF barracks were during World War II. It shows Mesa’s aviation history.

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Riverview Park (Mesa, AZ)

Not far away is Riverview Park, a vast, scenic spot by the Salt River. The park is not just a park. It is a lively hub with shimmer lakes, winding trails for strolls and jogs, sports fields, and an open-air theater. As a central cultural venue, it’s also known as the heart of the annual Mesa Arts Festival – a must-attend for both locals and tourists.

Desert Arroyo Park (Mesa, AZ)

Experience nature in the city at Desert Arroyo Park. In 2021, a new park was created. It has a modern playground that sparks the imagination. There is also a splash pad to cool off on hot Arizona days. The park has sports fields for teams and relaxing trails that embody the desert’s peace.

Cultural and Educational Sponsorships

Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona (Mesa, AZ)

For those passionate about history and the arts, exciting and educational destinations await. At the Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona, warbirds from WWII are not just showcase pieces. They are also restored to their former glory. It is a living history museum. Here, thrilling events captivate visitors, all thanks to the support of local sponsors like Mesa Airlines.

Arizona Museum of Natural History (Mesa, AZ)

The Arizona Museum of Natural History doesn’t just display relics; it brings stories to life. The museum is located at Mesa Community College. It explores natural history and anthropology. Mesa sponsors city students with free admission days and transportation options.

Mesa Arts Center (Mesa, AZ)

If you enjoy seeing live shows, the Mesa Arts Center is a great place. It has modern theaters, art galleries, and educational programs. Mesa Airlines supports education and community events that add vibrancy to the cultural tapestry.

Community Centers and Event Spaces

Mesa Convention Center (Mesa, AZ)

For big events, go to the Mesa Convention Center in downtown Mesa. They host many conferences, including the Mesa Science Fiction Convention.

Hohokam Stadium (Mesa, AZ) & Sloan Park (Mesa, AZ)

City sports fans can enjoy watching the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago Cubs at Hohokam Stadium and Sloan Park. These stadiums are where the teams train for their spring seasons.

Mesa Airlines helps the community by organizing a charity softball tournament every year. This tournament brings people together and raises money. Additionally, Mesa Airlines also helps with stadium upgrades.

Environmental Initiatives

Salt River Project Watershed Protection (Statewide, AZ)

Beyond entertainment and leisure, environmental stewardship is also a cornerstone of Mesa’s community. The Salt River Project Watershed Protection initiative restores watersheds and forests in Arizona. Mesa Airlines’ grants are crucial for funding.

Mesa Community Garden (Mesa, AZ)

Lastly, if you’re inspired by sustainability, the Mesa Community Garden is a green gem within the city. In 2015, Mesa Airlines helped launch a project that offers garden plots for locals to cultivate.

Why not come and see the community spirit and natural beauty that Mesa has to offer? Mesa has parks and museums that provide various activities and sights to enrich your soul.

Mesa Airlines Jobs & Training

Mesa Employee Portal Login Information

Mesa employees can access the company’s intranet portal at To login, employees enter their Mesa network username and password. New employees can reset their passwords or unlock their accounts through the portal. The TAC Help Desk (1-800-358-2875) provides IT support.

Jobs / Careers

Mesa Airlines has job openings for pilotsflight attendantsmaintenance technicians, and corporate/management roles roles. These jobs are available in different crew bases. Locations include Phoenix, Houston, and Cincinnati. Many corporate positions are remote or hybrid.

Pilot positions require an ATP license and starting pay averages $60,000/year. Flight attendants need a high school diploma and customer service experience.

Maintenance roles require an FAA Airframe and Powerplant license. Corporate positions have various qualifications based on the role. All jobs require authorization to work in the U.S.

Mesa Airlines Salary Table for All Personnel

Job TitleAverage SalarySalary Range
Airline Pilot$126,000$94,000 – $176,000
Flight Attendant$47,000$35,000 – $65,000
Aircraft Mechanic$62,000$47,000 – $85,000
Dispatcher$63,000$47,000 – $85,000
Operations Agent$47,000$35,000 – $65,000
IT Specialist$76,000$57,000 – $103,000
HR Manager$98,000$74,000 – $135,000
Accountant$62,000$47,000 – $85,000

Additional Information

Employee Benefits: Travel privileges, health insurance, 401(k) with match, paid time off, employee stock purchase plan824

Employee Reviews: 2.8/5 on Glassdoor – positive work-life balance but concerns about upper management

Career Development: Training programs, internal promotions

HR , 1-800-732-73849 for questions

Employee Reviews

Overall Rating2.8/5
Recommend to a Friend44%
Total Reviews1047
CEO Approval – Jonathan G. Ornstein26% approve
Diversity & Inclusion3.6/5
Career Opportunities3.1/5
Culture & Values2.6/5
Work/Life Balance2.6/5
Senior Management2.3/5
Compensation and Benefits2.2/5
Ratings Distribution5 stars: 14%, 4 stars: 17%, 3 stars: 28%, 2 stars: 20%, 1 star: 21%
Source for all data: Glassdoor Reviews of Mesa Air
Overall Rating2.9 (Based on 470 reviews)
Ratings Distribution5 stars: 85 reviews
4 stars: 80 reviews
3 stars: 121 reviews
2 stars: 66 reviews
1 star: 118 reviews
Ratings by CategoryWork/Life Balance: 2.8/5
Compensation/Benefits: 2.6/5
Job Security/Advancement: 2.8/5
Management: 2.5/5
Culture: 2.9/5
Source: Indeed Reviews for Mesa Airlines

About the Company

Company Information

Company NameMesa Airlines
CEO NameJonathan Ornstein
Leadership – Board of Directors / Senior Leadership Team– Jonathan Ornstein (Chairman & CEO)
– Michael Lotz (President & CFO)
– Brian Gillman (EVP, General Counsel & Secretary)
Full list of Board of Directors
Full Senior Leadership Team
Owners– Bank of America Corporation – 4.91%
– Vanguard Group Inc – 4.07%
– Blackrock Inc. – 1.55%
View top shareholders
Publicly Traded StockMesa Air Group, Inc. (MESA) – Nasdaq
Headquarters LocationPhoenix, Arizona, USA
Address410 N 44th St Suite 700, Phoenix, AZ 85008
Phone Number(602) 685-4000
Social Media Handles– LinkedIn: Mesa Airlines
– Twitter: @mesaair
– Facebook: Mesa Airlines
– Instagram: mesaairlines
– YouTube: Mesa Airlines

Mesa Airlines History

Historical Milestones

Hey there! Prepare to enter the time machine and join us on a ourney through Mesa Airlines’ history. Fasten your seatbelts; here we go!

YearMajor Happenings at Mesa Airlines
1982The journey begins with the Mesa Air Shuttle. It connects Farmington and Albuquerque using a five-seat Piper Saratoga.
1984We’re stepping up our game by adding a nine-seat twin-engine Piper Chieftain to our growing fleet.
1987Big makeover time: We changed our name to Mesa Airlines and hit the stock market, plus we’re now flying 11 fancy aircraft.
1989We’re making friends and flying more skies thanks to a codeshare with Midwest Express.
1990Snapping up Aspen Airways, we start donning the United Express colors to take you to more places!
1991Air Midwest joins the party, and we’re super jazzed to be the first in line for the spiffy Beechcraft 1900D.
1992We’ve got a hot date with America West Airlines and hitch a ride with WestAir Commuter Airlines.
1993Taking a victory lap as Air Transport World’s Regional Airline of the Year for ’92. You like us, you really like us!
1994Crown Airways becomes part of our clan, hooking up even closer with US Airways.
1998New digs alert: We pack up and move our HQ to Phoenix and Jonathan Ornstein takes the CEO reins.
1999Rolling deep with new toys: CCAir and its routes, plus 13 CRJ-200 aircraft and a stack of 36 Embraer 145s.
2000Expanding our flight fam with America West, USAir, and Midwest Express. Plus, Michael Lotz is now our head honcho President!
2001First dibs on the CRJ-900 and joining forces with Frontier as Frontier JetExpress.
2003Rekindling an old flame with United Airlines and starting a fresh romance with Delta as Delta Connection.
2006The Hawaiian Dreams: launching go! Airlines for an island-hopping fiesta.
2007Going global—here comes Kunpeng Airlines, our joint venture in China!
2010Trimming the fat—out with the 50-seaters, in with the big regional jets. More legroom, anyone?
2013Our United Express side is looking to fly with an added 30 Embraer E-175 jets.
2018We’re back, baby—Mesa is going public on Nasdaq and feeling fine!
2020United Express doubled down. Tairlifted cargo with DHL and continued to cruise with CRJ-900s for American Airlines.
2022We’ve been soaring the skies for 40 epic years. Party hats on, folks!
2023Saying “see ya” to our gig with American and getting ready for new memories with United in Denver.

There you have it, the tale of Mesa Airlines, from humble beginnings to big-time skies. Each year has been a chapter in a story full of new starts, big dreams, and a passion for connecting people and places. Stick around; the journey’s far from over!

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Mesa Airlines Story

Mesa Air Shuttle started by JB Aviation in Farmington, New Mexico. It first flew from Farmington to Albuquerque.

Their trusty aircraft? A Piper Saratoga. Let me paint a picture for you: in 1981, Frontier Airlines stopped flying between these cities. Mesa saw a chance and took it. They brought in a twin-engine Piper Navajo Chieftain, beefing up the service.

It was in 1982 that the game changed; the original owners handed the baton to Larry and Janie Risley, and folks, the Risleys had vision. They acquired a fleet of 14-seat Beechcraft 99 commuter turboprops. These planes formed a network connecting New Mexico and its neighboring states. The hub in Albuquerque became a busy center of activity.

1985 was the year of the upgrade. The Beech 99s? They took a ride into the sunset. Roomy 19-seat Beechcraft 1900s replaced them, becoming Mesa’s best planes. Albuquerque Airport had up to 47 daily departures to 18 cities in less than two years.

But why stop at one hub? In 1987, Mesa expanded more by acquiring Centennial Airlines. They established a new hub in Denver and connected towns in Wyoming. And let’s not overlook the spark that ignited in 1985. Mesa started flying to Phoenix from Farmington and Gallup. By 1989, Phoenix became an essential hub in Arizona.

Folks might remember the name shuffle in the ’90s. Mesa was on the move, merging Denver flights into the United Express division they’d acquired from Aspen Airways in 1990.

They entered a codeshare with America West Airlines in 1992, and passed the Phoenix hub torch to become America West Express. Even Farmington had its moment in the limelight, becoming a buzzing mini-hub with 22 daily flights connecting folks to a trio of states.

Yes, in 1995 and 1996, everything Mesa did was connected to Mountain West Airlines. They operated in Albuquerque, Denver, and Phoenix.

Then, carving new paths in 1997 and 1998, Mesa flitted from Little Rock to Nashville and Wichita and even Nashville to Tupelo. Later, the routes under Mesa Airlines became US Airways Express.

In a bold and strategic move, 1997 also saw Mesa setting up shop at Fort Worth’s Meacham International Airport. They used two Bombardier CRJ-200 jets to connect cities like San Antonio, Austin, and Houston Hobby.

They created new routes from Colorado Springs to Nashville and San Antonio. These routes made their mark despite a short run due to corporate reshuffling. The Albuquerque hub might have blended into Air Midwest in 2001, but it still wore the Mesa Airlines badge until its lights dimmed in 2007.

Oh, and one more thing. 1998 wasn’t another year; it was a turning point when Mesa traded the familiar horizons of Farmington, NM, for the ambitious skies of Phoenix, AZ. This wasn’t a change of address—it was Mesa charting a new course in their ever-evolving story.

America West Express

In the aviation industry, partnerships can be pivotal for growth and expansion. This concept materialized in a significant way back in September 1992. Mesa Airlines, a regional carrier, made a crucial agreement with America West Airlines.

They were good at forming partnerships. The plan was simple: America West Express would connect Phoenix to 12 cities.

Let’s break things down to understand the essence of this partnership. A code-sharing agreement is like a playlist for your favorite music. It’s like having various songs (or flights) all in one convenient location.

For travelers, it meant more flight options under America West’s brand—despite some of those flights being operated by Mesa.

Perhaps you’re wondering what Mesa brought to the tarmac? Quite a lot! Several of their Beech 1900D aircraft received a fresh coat of paint, proudly donning America West Airlines’ colors.

The new look represented more than a simple update. It showed that services were improving. The changes included more flights, more seats, and new destinations.

In 1995, Mesa wanted more than flying the same routes—they aimed higher, dreaming big. They created an offshoot named Desert Sun Airlines and acquired a duo of sleek Fokker 70 jets.

Thanks to these jets, they carved out new routes, connecting Phoenix to two new destinations: Des Moines and Spokane. However, change is the only constant in the aviation world, and in 1997, Desert Sun was reabsorbed into Mesa Airlines.

But Mesa didn’t stop there—they were on a roll. They exchanged their Fokker planes for Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jets. The industry was changing. Shorter flights or medium-range were now more cost-effective and efficient. At the same time, they relocated the Beech 1900Ds to their subsidiary, Air Midwest.

By December 1997, another player entered Mesa’s fleet: the Dash 8-200 aircraft. The turboprops linked Phoenix to many places in the Southwest, strengthening the connections in the area.

Then came 2003, a year of transformation, when Mesa Airlines took over Freedom Airlines. Mesa stayed flexible and moved more planes around. They put Freedom’s CRJ-900 jets with America West Express.

On May 30, 2008, Air Midwest said goodbye to the Beech 1900D flights. This reminds us that the aviation sector always needs to adapt.

Then, September 16, 2005, marked a new era due to the merger between America West Airlines and US Airways. Even though the merger was official, it took time for flight operations to come together.

Mesa kept its position by code-sharing with the new US Airways Group. It also honored its heritage with the America West Express codeshare agreement.

Its fleet was now a symphony of CRJ-200s, CRJ-900s, and Dash 8s, operating from hubs in Charlotte and Phoenix. But, as with any great narrative, the plot thickened. In late 2011, Mesa restructured, and United canceled CRJ-200 services operated by Mesa. The CRJ-200s and Dash 8s left at the same time.

Emerging from this transition by early 2012, Mesa Airlines streamlined its operations significantly. US Airways operated the CRJ-900, a popular airliner, in Phoenix and Charlotte.

Hey there, frequent flyer! Are you keeping up with the evolving tale of America West Express? This story shows how working together and being flexible can improve travel. Let’s stay tuned to see what the next chapter in regional aviation holds!

Remember, these complicated business moves may not seem relatable to your trips. Knowing different options can help us plan our next vacation or work trip. The next time you find yourself aboard a flight, take a moment to ponder the history and collaboration that brought you to the skies.

US Airways Express

In the world of regional air travel, US Airways Express played a crucial role in connecting smaller cities to major hubs.

Back in November 1997, Mesa Airlines made a deal with US Airways that would change the landscape of regional flights.

Mesa proudly flew its regional jets under the US Airways Express banner. They had a codeshare agreement, which is a partnership that allows airlines to work together. The agreement made traveling from small towns to busy cities easier and more convenient.

Right from the start, Mesa planned to offer service with 14 regional jets. These jets would depart from US Airways’ main hubs in Philadelphia and Charlotte. But the sky was the limit, and soon enough, in 1998 and again in 2000, they cranked up their commitments, boosting their fleet to 28 and then to a whopping 52 jets. This expansion created a network of routes linking communities and economies.

The journey kicked off with the CRJ-200 aircraft in 1998, a workhorse that became the backbone of regional air travel. Then in 2000, the sleek Embraer ERJ-145 jets joined the team, adding more versatility to the fleet. The company teamed up the CRJs with America West to increase fleet efficiency.

By 2003, the pendulum swung back, and 20 of the CRJ-200s made a comeback to US Airways Express, zipping out of Philadelphia with renewed vigor. Meanwhile, the ERJ-145s settled in Charlotte, carving out their own niche in the network.

In 2005, the industry faced uncertainty as Mesa’s codeshare agreement with US Airways wobbled in bankruptcy court. The winds of change were blowing. They had to think on their feet and started shifting their birds to other partnerships. That’s when 26 ERJ planes joined Freedom Airlines, and the rest of the fleet merged with Mesa’s operations for United Express.

Aviation can change fast. That year, America West Airlines and US Airways merged. Mesa’s contract got extended. It wasn’t just kept—it was expanded to cover even more routes, including those that weren’t initially part of the America West network.

Fast forward to October 17, 2015, a new chapter began when all the US Airways Express flights transformed into American Eagle services. The merger between American Airlines and US Airways caused a change for US Airways Express. It marked the start of a new era for regional flyers with the American Eagle brand.


Passengers on a regular flight from El Paso, Texas to Ruidoso, New Mexico had an unusual experience on June 29, 1990. They were aboard a Cessna 208 Caravan.

The plane lost engine power four miles before Sierra Blanca Regional Airport. The pilot had no other option but to make an emergency landing. The pilot managed to safely bring the plane down on New Mexico State Road 220. No one was hurt and the plane only had a little damage on the right wing.

Years later, on October 16, 2001, a jet, an ERJ-145, was nearing the end of its journey to Roanoke, Virginia.

The flight crew decided on a high-stakes, “no-go around” approach for landing at a “Special Airport” during the night. The decision carried large risk and, unfortunately, the approach to the runway was not stable.

As the plane lost speed, it flirted with disaster, stalling before it struck the runway in a nose-high attitude. The plane landed, but unfortunately, the back of the fuselage made contact with the ground before the front.

The first officer warned about the decreasing speed, but the flight crew members didn’t communicate well. The captain ignored her warnings.

The plane landed in a difficult way. The plane was allowed to go to the gate. At the gate, a quick inspection did not show the damage to the back of the plane. It’s hard to understand how they missed it.

Even more surprising is that the pilots didn’t report the accident despite it being alarming. The plane took off the next morning with a different crew. They didn’t know what happened the day before.

In Charlotte, North Carolina, the damage from the tail strike was noticed after the flight. The ground crew would have been near the damaged area. They needed to connect an external air cart because the APU was malfunctioning. The oversight is surprising.

Both crew members were fired but later rehired with help from their union, ALPA. The captain responsible for the incident was not reinstated. Sadly, the first officer who was supposed to come back the next morning died of an illness.

Another alarming incident occurred on February 13, 2008, when a go! CRJ-200 flight went astray. Sadly, the pilots dozed off during the flight and flew past their destination by 26 nautical miles.

The episode was very unsettling for everyone. It showed problems with tired pilots. Later, they found out the captain had severe sleep apnea. Working early in the mornings made it worse and caused the serious mistake.

American Airlines Flight 5786, operated by Mesa Airlines, had a wing strike while landing. This incident was noteworthy but not as dramatic. It happened on September 29, 2015. The weather was calm. The plane reached its gate without any problems. This event did not result in any injuries.

On January 11, 2019, American Eagle Flight 5766 faced icy challenges when it arrived at Columbia Municipal Airport. The plane, a Bombardier CRJ-900, was the first to attempt to land after the runway had been cleared of ice and snow.

Yet, the conditions were still treacherous, and the jet slid off the runway. It’s a stark reminder of nature’s relentless challenges to aviation.

These events underscore the remarkable nature of air travel and its inherent risks. Aviation professionals work hard every day to make sure passengers stay safe.


What is Mesa Airlines?

Mesa Airlines is an American regional airline based in Phoenix, Arizona. It operates under air carrier certificate number MASA036A and is a subsidiary of Mesa Air Group.

Is Mesa Airlines safe?

Yes, Mesa Airlines is generally considered a safe airline to fly with. It has a good safety record, with no fatal accidents in its history and relatively few incidents. Mesa is certified by the FAA and has passed IATA’s operational safety audit.

Where does Mesa Airlines fly to?

Mesa Airlines has flights to over 180 destinations in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.

Is Mesa Airlines going out of business?

No. The search results do not indicate Mesa has filed for bankruptcy. Its new United deal and cost-cutting efforts suggest it will likely continue operating.

Does Mesa Airlines fly internationally?

Mesa Airlines operates as United Express and American Eagle. They fly to destinations including Angel Fire, Carlsbad, Clovis, Cortez, Denver, Durango, Gallup, and more.

Does Mesa Airlines pay for flight attendant training?

Yes, Mesa Airlines pays for flight attendant training. The airline covers lodging and some meals during the 4 weeks of training. Trainees also receive a $100 stipend per full week completed. After training, flight attendants receive annual pay increases and health care coverage.

Is Mesa Airlines hiring?

Yes, Mesa Airlines is hiring pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and corporate roles. The airline has job openings posted on its website. Interviews and recruitment events are happening as recently as December 2023.

Does Mesa Airlines pay for flight attendant training?

Mesa Airlines flight attendants earn approximately $18-24 per hour on average. This equals $33,000-38,000 per year. First-year pay starts at around $18 per hour. Attendants also receive annual raises, travel privileges, and health coverage.

What is Mesa Airlines dba United Express?

Mesa Airlines operates regional flights and they do this as United Express. They have a codeshare agreement with United Airlines. Mesa flies smaller jets like the CRJ900 and E175 to connect passengers from smaller airports to United’s hubs.

Where is Mesa Airlines located?

Mesa Airlines is based in Phoenix, Arizona. The airline has crew bases located in Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Denver, and Cincinnati to serve its routes as United Express and DHL Express.

Who owns Mesa Airlines?

Mesa Airlines is owned by the parent company Mesa Air Group.

Is Mesa Airlines a public company?

Mesa Air Group is a publicly traded company listed on NASDAQ as MESA. For more information, you can visit their NASDAQ profile here.

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