Regional carrier Compass to close doors in April with loss of American Airlines flying

Mar 19, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Compass Airlines will close it doors in April when American Airlines cuts the majority of its contract flying amid sweeping coronavirus-related capacity reductions.

The shut down was relayed by Rick Leach, CEO of Compass-owner Trans States Holdings, in a memo to employees on Thursday viewed by TPG. Compass is the second Trans States-owned carrier to close it doors due to the crisis with Trans States Airlines ceasing operations on April 1.

“All our remaining capacity will be completely cut for an undetermined period and our other, once viable, prospective opportunities have been tabled for the foreseeable future due to the sweeping impact of this crisis,” said Leach. “These challenges… have forced us to make the incredibly difficult decision to pull down the Compass operation.”

Get Coronavirus travel updates. Stay on top of industry impacts, flight cancellations, and more.

Trans States remaining operating subsidiary, GoJet Airlines, as yet appears unimpacted by the crisis. GoJet flies Bombardier CRJ550s for United Airlines.

The 20 Embraer E175s that Compass flies for American will either be returned to lessors or shifted to other airlines, Leach said in the memo without providing details.

As previously planned, Compass will end flying E175s for Delta Air Lines at the end of March.

Trans States’ decision to shut down both its namesake carrier and Compass comes as the airline industry faces a cash crunch. Demand for air travel has plummeted amid the spread of COVID-19, forcing nearly every carrier to slash schedules and stop spending cash in order to preserve the company.

Related: Trans States Airlines to shut down April 1, first US carrier to close amid coronavirus crisis

U.S. airlines are seeking more than $50 billion in government aid to get them through the crisis. However, International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Alexandre de Juniac has warned that it will not be enough to save every carrier.

“It is clear that we will see… probably consolidation, [and] unfortunately some airlines will be disappearing,” he said Tuesday.

Other independent regional carriers are undoubtedly under pressure from the fall in demand and the related cuts being made by their mainline affiliates. Analysts have named Phoenix-based Mesa Airlines, which flies Bombardier CRJ900s and E175s for American and United Airlines, as another at risk airline.

Related: US airlines seek at least $50 billion in aid to combat coronavirus crisis

Regional affiliates owned by their mainline partners likely face fewer risks. Alaska Airlines owns Horizon Air; American owns Envoy, Piedmont Airlines and PSA Airlines; Delta owns Endeavor Air; and United has stakes in CommutAir and ExpressJet Airlines. In addition, American and United both have minority stakes in Republic Airways.

American, Delta and United have all slashed schedules. American said Sunday that it will cut domestic flying by up to 30%, though further cuts are expected; Delta is essentially winding itself down with a 70% system capacity cut; and United is reducing capacity by 60%.

Compass was not immediately available for comment on the memo.

Featured image by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.