KANSAS CITY - MO, Rumours began spreading this weekend after plane-spotter Michael Worthington noticed a MetroAir E170 (N915AU) landing at Victorville, CA, an airfield known to have far more landings than take-offs. MetroAir hadn't made any plans to retire aircraft and so speculation grew on social media until Chief Executive Officer, William Hogarth commented.
"With the on-going Pandemic, MetroAir is looking for cost-effective ways to remain profitable in the market. We have secured new contracts for all our E145 aircraft as the aircraft has continued to perform extremely well for us. Sadly new contracts could not be secured for our E170 fleet and so we've therefore decided to retire all the fleet, which will be phased out completely by June 2021."
Mr Hogarth also went on to announce... " We are also making changes to our domestic and international market with fleet simplification and efficiency as a top priority. Unfortunately as a result of this, we have also decided to retire our aging Airbus A330-200 fleet. We are expecting the last airframe to complete service at the end of May 2021. Both the E170 & A330 aircraft have been a work-horse for our company over its 15 years."
MetroAir have already begun transitioning some of their A330 flight crews to the newer B787 & 777 aircraft in preparation for the retirement of the last airframes.
MetroAir went on to explain that they are not just planning on retiring aircraft, they have plans to acquire more aircraft in the coming months to take over the routes left vacant - at this time MetroAir declined to disclose anymore information until finalization of their plans, however, Mr Hogarth said "We are excited for Summer!"
Despite the news, MetroAir aren't showing signs of reducing market-share. Aviation Enthusiast, Mark Stevens, commented on the announcement, "I'm excited to see what MetroAir does this year. They have always shown leadership in an industry previously dominated by larger carriers."