Mesa Air Group, Inc. announced today that the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has affirmed the preliminary injunction against Delta Air Lines (“Delta”), which enjoined Delta from terminating Freedom Airlines’ Delta Connection Agreement covering certain ERJ-145 aircraft (the “Agreement”).
On May 29, 2008 the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia issued a preliminary injunction against Delta enjoining it from terminating the Agreement in place between Freedom Airlines and Delta. Delta had sought to terminate the Agreement based upon allegations that Freedom had failed to meet certain operational performance requirements. In affirming the District Court’s decision, the Court of Appeals noted that Freedom had shown a substantial likelihood of success on its claims and that the District Court found testimony of Delta’s primary witness to be “non-credible.” The Order granting a preliminary injunction included the finding that Delta acted in “bad faith” in its attempt to terminate the Agreement. The preliminary injunction will remain in place while the case proceeds in the District Court. With both the District Court and now the Court of Appeals finding that Mesa has demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on its claims, Mesa looks forward to having this matter fully and finally resolved at trial.
Commenting on today’s ruling, Mesa chairman and CEO, Jonathan Ornstein said, “We are very pleased with the Court’s Order affirming the injunction issued by the District Court. We reaffirm our commitment to offering the very best service to Delta and our Delta Connection passengers. We would also like to thank our dedicated employees who have continued to provide outstanding service through this unfortunate case.”
Freedom Airlines currently operates 22 50-seat ERJ-145 aircraft for Delta as Delta Connection.
Mesa currently operates 150 aircraft with approximately 800 daily system departures to 110 cities, 38 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and Mexico. Mesa operates as Delta Connection, US Airways Express, and United Express under contractual agreements with Delta Air Lines, US Airways, and United Airlines, respectively, and independently as Mesa Airlines and go!. In June 2006, Mesa launched inter-island Hawaiian service as go!. This operation links Honolulu to the neighbor island airports of Hilo, Kahului, Kona, and Lihue. The company, founded by Larry and Janie Risley in New Mexico in 1982, has approximately 3,700 employees and was awarded Regional Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine in 1992 and 2005.