Republic Airways Files for Bankruptcy Citing Pilot Shortage

By Jesse Sokolow on 26 February 2016
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A Delta Shuttle aircraft operated by Shuttle America

Republic Airways Holdings, a regional carrier, filed for bankruptcy late Thursday. The Indianapolis-based carrier said a lack of pilots had hampered its ability to operate.

The airline holding company operates a fleet of regional jets that provides flights for most major airlines including the country’s three largest, American, Delta, and United through two subsidiary airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America. The airline reached a new contract with its pilots union last year but had encountered headwinds and forced to ground aircraft as it tried to renegotiate its agreements with its partner airlines and aircraft lessors to recoup the higher costs it would face to operate under the new contract.

“It’s become clear that this process has reached an impasse and that any further delay would unnecessarily waste valuable resources of the enterprise,” said Bryan Bedford, the airline’s CEO, in a statement Thursday.

The airline has continued to lose as many as 40 pilots per month while only adding 30, a situation that hampered its ability to operate its full schedule and live up to its contractual obligations.

The visit to bankruptcy court would allow the airline to shed unprofitable contracts and costly leases without penalty, giving the airline some breathing room.

Republic Airlines operates a fleet of Embraer E170, E175, and E190 aircraft while Shuttle America operates the Embraer ERJ 145, E170 and E175.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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