ONTARIO, CA – MetroAir officials have announced today the plans for the CRJ-700 Retirement Event. In honor of the regional jets’ 5 years of faithful service to MetroAir, the CRJ-700 will fly one last trip around the country to visit the hubs, focus cities, and other significant previous CRJ-700 destinations. Among the destinations are San Jose, CA, Aspen, CO, and Hartford, CT. The full routing of the Retirement Tour is ONT-SJC-PDX-GEG-ASE-ORD-BDL-IAD-FLL-MCI-CLE.
The CRJ-700 entered the MetroAir fleet in March of 2009 as Allegius, the regional branch of MetroAir, expanded regionally around the Washington Dulles and Ontario hubs. Bombardier’s 70 seat jet was a perfect fit for markets which were out of range for Allegius’s Dash 8 aircraft. On the east coast, the CRJ-700 flew passengers to cities such as Memphis and Montreal, while cities such as Boise and Albuquerque were served from Ontario. Furthermore, the CRJ=700 provided the perfect stepping stone for pilots at MetroAir, introducing them to jet operations as they moved up the ranks. With the introduction of the ERJ-170 fleet in May of 2011, the CRJ-700’s were concentrated on the West Coast. MetroAir executives have been extremely pleased with the performance of the ERJ-170’s and began making plans to move the CRJ-700’s off the books. After negotiations, it has been decided to lease all 8 CRJ-700’s to SkyWest airlines, with an option to purchase. SkyWest will be operating the CRJ-700’s out of Cleveland, OH under the Delta Connection banner.
All of the flights on the tour between Ontario and Kansas City will be available to all appropriately CAT rated pilots. Two bids will be up for grabs for the last leg between Kansas City and Cleveland: one to whoever records the smoothest landing in the CRJ-700 throughout the event, and one to the winner of the April screenshot contest. Details for the April screenshot contest will be posted in the next week.