This week, the topic is Comair, and the so-called regional airlines. These businesses are sometimes difficult to identify because their operations are owned or at least re-branded by major airlines. Comair flew for Delta Air Lines from 1984 until 2012. They used hundreds of “regional jet” aircraft, with the Delta logo, to take passengers on short haul flights.
Originally, Comair was just a tiny operation based in Cincinnati with three little airplanes. It started in 1977. The company went public in 1981, and was bought out by Delta in 2001. Delta went bankrupt in 2005 until 2007, putting enormous pressure on costs. It was at that point Delta was forced to begin dismantling Comair. The basic reason was that Comair had a successful business model for the short haul market of the 1980s, but it failed to adapt to changing conditions over time.
This move to shut down Comair doesn’t mean the regional airline market is going away any time soon. SkyWest, another regional airline, is still in business and currently hiring pilots. Some of their recent hires are showcased by ATP Flight School. According to Airline Pilot Central the starting pay is $22.