RAA 2015: Growth all round for Trans States Holdings’ airline trio

Trans States Holdings’ three airline companies – Compass Airlines, GoJet Airlines and Trans States Airlines – are to take delivery of 79 aircraft between now and April next year.Rick Leach, president and COO of Trans States Holdings (TSH), explained that Compass will add 20 Embraer 175s to be flown as American Eagle, GoJet will be adding seven CRJ900s (refurbished ex-Pluna aircraft) for Delta Connection and Trans States Airlines will receive 52 50-seaters, 36 for United Express and 16 for American Eagle. “I guess the reports of the death of the 50-seat RJ were wrong,” he quipped.“It’s an exciting time, but daunting too,” Leach continued. “It provides the opportunity for some First Officers to get into the left-hand seat more rapidly. Overall though, between the regional airlines there is a lot of moving the deckchairs [pilots] around rather than getting new ones trained.”For pilot recruitment and retention, TSH has bonus and reimbursement programmes. “We hope that our pilots are ambassadors for the company and we reward them if they help others to come to us,” Leach remarked. “With three platforms – each with a single type certificate – we have the opportunity to fly more.”With regards to the MRJ, for which TSH provided the US launch order, Leach commented that it is a programme to which the company is still very much committed. At present the model ordered is the MRJ90, but Leach confirmed that these can be switched to MRJ70s if the scope clauses do not change.While he does not yet foresee a change in the passenger limit of 76 seats, Leach hopes there might be a weight increase. “On the emotional side, it’s the lesser part of the argument,” he said. “The next weight level, I hope, would be to the upper 90,000 pounds position. Both the MRJ90 and E175-E2 are around the mid-90,000 lb category.”Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.netCleveland, Ohio

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