Kansas City, Mo-MetroAir executives have today announced that their fleet of 7 CRJ-700 aircraft are marked to exit the airlines fleet. The CRJ-700 is the smallest Aircraft operation at MetroAir and has for a long time been on the decline. Back in 2011 it was decided to move the 7 aircraft to a single operating base to make way for the newer ERJ-170’s that were being delivered, some might say that was the beginning of the end.
Since April 2009 the CRJ has formed the back bone of short regional hops across the expansive MetroAir network and has seen the plane operate to hundreds of airports across its 5 year history.
“In a world of rising fuel and oil prices and with a decline in air travel and increased competition it has simply become un-economical to operate such a small fleet type” The airlines Chief Operating Officer, William Hogarth said.
In late 2013 it was announced that the airline was set to take delivery of 10 new E170 aircraft and it is these planes which will be used to replace the CRJ operations. With the exit of the CRJ a new first for the west coast hub, Ontario is that there will now be regular scheduled E170 flights, something which has never been seen since the E170 joined the fleet.
The CRJ’s will have all exited the fleet by April 30th 2014 and because the CRJ has been such a key player in the Airlines recent expansion, the airline executives have already said the plane will not just simply leave… A farewell tour is planned and the month of April will be dedicated to the CRJ as a tribute to the planes faithful service. The 7 CRJ’s will be leased out to SkyWest Airlines on a long term lease with the potential for SkyWest to purchase.
Full details about the CRJ exit plan will be released soon