Express Jet Soon To Be Ex-Airline

SPOKANE — ExpressJet, the latest airline to set up operations at Spokane International Airport, announced Tuesday it would be suspending flight operations as of September 2nd.

Once hailed as one of the nation’s largest regional airlines, Express Jet is terminating its flight agreements with Delta Airlines as of September 1st and will cease flying under the ExpressJet name the following day.

ExpressJet joins recently folded regional carriers Aloha Airlines and Big Sky in the growing number of carriers who fallen on hard financial times.

“If we had any other choice, we would not take this difficult action. However, rising fuel prices has made the operation impossible to sustain,” Jim Ream, President and Chief Executive Officer for ExpressJet, said.

ExpressJet started operations at Spokane International in February 2007 with non-stop service to San Diego, Sacramento and Ontario, California.

At the time it came into Spokane they had plans to hire 20 local employees and invest approximately $400,000 in airport facilities and equipment. Airport officials estimated that passenger traffic would increase 26-percent with ExpressJet’s entrance into Spokane.

Tickets on ExpressJet Airlines for travel prior to September 2 will not be affected. Customers holding tickets for a flight after September 1, 2008 can contact ExpressJet Reservations at 888-958-XJET (9538) to request a refund.