Close Window

Chautauqua Airlines was founded in 1973 in Jamestown, N.Y. by Joel and Gloria Hall. The airline’s primary mission was to operate under a code-share agreement with Allegheny Airlines operating as Allegheny Commuter.  Initial scheduled operations from Jamestown to Buffalo, N.Y. and Pittsburgh, Pa. were started with two new 15-passenger Beech 99 aircraft.


In 1984, the airline added five new 19-passenger Fairchild Metro III aircraft to its fleet. In 1986, Chautauqua Airlines was purchased by GAC. Later that year, the airline entered into an agreement with Saab Aircraft of America for the purchase of 12 30-passenger Saab 340 aircraft to replace the slower Shorts 3-30’s.


On May 8, 1994, the airline announced the renewal of its code-share agreement with

USAir. The new agreement included a route realignment that required the airline to relocate the corporate headquarters to Indianapolis, Ind. to better support its growing operation.


On May 15, 1998, Wexford Capital, LLC of Greenwich, Conn. purchased Chautauqua Airlines. In March 1999, the airline entered into an agreement with Embraer for the purchase of 10 50-passenger Embraer ERJ-145 regional jet aircraft.


In July 1999, Chautauqua Airlines announced the appointment of Bryan Bedford as president and chief executive officer. In addition, the airline announced the appointment of Robert Hal Cooper as vice president and chief financial officer.


In November 1999, Chautauqua Airlines announced a new 10-year code-share agreement with Trans World Airlines. As a part of the agreement, Chautauqua Airlines would operate at least 15 Embraer 145 50-passenger regional jet aircraft, with an option for an additional 15 aircraft.


On March 21, 2001, Chautauqua Airlines announced that it had entered into a new partnership with America West Airlines to operate regional jets under a code-share agreement that called for the airline to operate as an America West Express affiliate in the Eastern United States.  The agreement with Chautauqua included the deployment in 2001 and 2002 of 12 Embraer 145 regional jets to serve Midwest and Northeast business markets including Chicago, Baltimore and Boston from America West's Columbus, Ohio hub. The arrangement also included an option for an additional 12 Embraer 145’s for operation in the America West Express system.


On June 19, 2001, Chautauqua Airlines announced the renewal of the existing regional jet service agreement with American Airlines, which earlier in the year had purchased TWA, to provide feeder service at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.  As part of the multi-year agreement, Chautauqua would make a transition away from 50-seat regional jets to 44-seat Embraer ERJ-140 units by August of 2002.


On June 10, 2002, Chautauqua Airlines announced an agreement for Chautauqua to provide regional jet service in Florida for the Delta Connection network, beginning in November 2002.


On February 12, 2003, Chautauqua Airlines announced that it had reached agreement with America West Airlines to end the marketing agreement for the twelve ERJ 145’s operating under the America West Express program. The aircraft would transition to the Delta Connection program beginning in April of 2003, with all 12 aircraft entering Delta Connection service by July of 2003.


On January 26, 2004, Air Transport World announced the selection of Chautauqua Airlines as regional Airline of the Year. This marked the first time in the 30-year history of the Air Transport World Airline Achievement Awards program that a senior management team received this recognition at two different airlines.


On March 8, 2004, United Airlines announced that Chautauqua Airlines and Republic Airlines had joined United Express.  Under a new agreement, Chautauqua would operate 16 50-seat regional jets for United Express. In addition, United authorized Republic to fly 16 70-seat regional jets under the United Express livery.


On April 30, 2004, Regional Airline World announced the selection of Chautauqua Airlines as regional Airline of the Year, marking the first time a carrier won Airline of the Year honors by two industry publications in the same year.  In addition, Regional Airline World announced the selection of Bryan Bedford as Airline Executive of the Year.


On May 26, 2004, Republic Airways completed its initial public offering of 5.0 million common shares at a price of $13 per share.  The Company retained approximately $39 million after paying offering expenses, underwriters’ discounts and repaying debt.  The company trades on the NASDAQ National Market under the ticker symbol of RJET.

On July 12, 2004, Republic Airways announced that its primary subsidiary Chautauqua Airlines was the first airline in the United States and second regional airline in the world to be registered with IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit).


On October 26, 2004, Republic Airways announced that its subsidiary Chautauqua Airlines had begun scheduled passenger service with two new 70-passenger Embraer 170 aircraft in the United Express system.


On December 22, 2004, Republic Airways announced that its Republic Airlines subsidiary had agreed with Delta Air Lines, Inc. to operate the Embraer 170 aircraft as a Delta Connection partner.


On March 14, 2005, Republic Airways announced that, along with its majority shareholder Wexford Capital LLC, it had reached agreement with US Airways Group, Inc. on an omnibus agreement that included provisions for the affirmation of an amended Chautauqua Airlines Jet Service Agreement (JSA), a potential new jet-service agreement with a Republic subsidiary for the operation of Embraer 170 and 190 aircraft, and up to $110 million in asset-related financing.


On May 9, 2005, Republic Airways announced that it had completed the purchase of Shuttle America Corporation from Shuttle Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of Wexford Capital LLC, for the purchase price of $1 million plus the assumption of less than $1 million in debt to Wexford Capital LLC.


On June 1, 2005, Republic Airways subsidiary Shuttle America commenced scheduled Embraer 170 operations under the United Express brand.


On August 29, 2005, Republic Airways announced that its Republic Airlines subsidiary had received its Part 121 Airworthiness Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


On September 4, 2005, Republic Airlines commenced scheduled passenger service, operating three Embraer 170’s under a code-share agreement with US Airways Express, with a plan to eventually operate 28 aircraft on behalf of US Airways.


On February 24, 2006, Republic Airways Holdings reported that its Chautauqua Airlines subsidiary was selected as the first recipient of the Aviation Excellence Award from Flight International.  The selection was announced at an awards gala in Singapore.  Chautauqua Airlines won the Flight Operations category of the Aviation Excellence Award.


On July 21, 2006, Republic Airways reported that its Chautauqua Airlines subsidiary was selected by Continental Airlines to provide and operate 44 50–seat regional jets as a Continental Express carrier beginning in January 2007.


On January 11, 2007, Republic Airways, the parent company of Republic Airlines, announced that its Republic Airlines subsidiary was selected by Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc.(NASDAQ: FRNT) to provide and operate 17 76–seat Embraer 170 regional jets for Frontier Airlines beginning in March 2007. Frontier would continue to schedule and market all of its regional jet-service flights.


On Jan. 28, 2008, Air Transport World announced that it had presented Republic Airways with its prestigious Regional Airline of the Year award. This marked the second time the company was recognized with the industry’s most coveted award; Chautauqua was recognized with the honor for the year 2004.


On April 23, 2008, Republic announced that it had reached agreement with Frontier Airlines with respect to Frontier Airlines’ rejection of its Airline Services Agreement ("ASA") in Frontier Airlines' chapter 11 cases. The agreement provided for an orderly wind-down of Republic’s 12-aircraft Frontier operation.


On September 3, 2008, Republic Airways announced that its Republic Airlines subsidiary had signed a 10-year agreement with Midwest Airlines to provide 12, 76-seat Embraer E170 jets operating as Midwest Connect.


On October 15, 2008, Republic Airways announced that its Shuttle America subsidiary had been selected by Mokulele Airlines of Hawai'i to operate four, 70-seat Embraer 170 jets under a 10-year capacity-purchase agreement beginning Nov. 19, 2008


On May 21, 2009, Republic Airways announced an expansion of the air services agreement (ASA) between Midwest Airlines and Republic Airlines to include the addition of new Embraer 190 jets.


On July 12, 2009, Republic Airways was presented with the Airline Business’ prestigious Airline Strategy Award in recognition of its “first mover status through bold strategy shifts, ensuring its longevity in an ever unpredictable business climate.”


On June 22, 2009, Republic Airways announced it had agreed to be the equity sponsor of Frontier Airlines’ plan of reorganization. Subject to bankruptcy court approval and various conditions, the plan would allow Republic to purchase 100% of the equity in the reorganized company for $108.75 million and continue the Frontier brand and focus of operations in Denver. Republic was subsequently declared the winning bidder in the auction process and closed on the acquisition of Frontier on October 1, 2009, at which point Frontier exited Chapter 11.


On June 23, 2009, Republic Airways announced that, subject to customary regulatory approvals, it was acquiring Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines from TPG Capital, a Fort Worth, Texas-based private equity firm. The acquisition closed on July 31, 2009 with Midwest Airlines continuing to operate as a branded carrier with its longstanding, award-winning commitment to outstanding customer service


On August 13, 2009, Republic Airways announced that it had been declared the winning bidder in the auction to acquire Frontier. The auction was conducted under procedures established in Frontier’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. On October 1, Republic completed its acquisition of Frontier Airlines Holdings. Republic acquired 100% of the equity in the reorganized company for $108.75 million and Frontier exited Chapter 11.


On Oct. 13, 2009, Republic Airways announced that it had reached an agreement with Mesa Air Group to form a joint venture to combine the jet routes flown by both Mesa and Republic. Under the agreement, E170 routes operated by Republic Airways were transitioned to jet service provided by Mesa Airlines.


On Nov. 10, 2009, Republic Airways announced a major increase of its presence in Milwaukee, including the preservation of more than 700 local jobs in Milwaukee and the addition of up to 800 full-time positions there. Because of Republic’s investment, job preservation and job creation in Milwaukee, the Company qualified to receive up to $27 million in tax credits through the end of 2021.


On Dec. 1, 2009, the Indianapolis Business Journal named Hal Cooper CFO of the year in its Public Company category. In presenting the award, the IBJ noted that Hal has "helped Republic not just to survive some of the airline industry's most turbulent years, but thrive."


On Dec. 08, 2009, Republic Airways announced that it would add up to 300 full-time positions in Indianapolis. As a result of this job growth, the Company became eligible to receive up to approximately $4 million in economic incentives through the end of 2019, based on the actual number of new jobs created.


On Feb. 25, 2010, Republic Airways announced today it had signed a purchase agreement for 40 CS300 jets, part of the next-generation CSeries aircraft under development by Bombardier, with options for up to an additional 40 aircraft. The order made Republic the first North American customer of the CSeries aircraft, with delivery secheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2015


On April 13, 2010, Republic Airways announced the selection of the Frontier Airlines name for its consolidated branded network. The retention of the Frontier Airlines name included its iconic, award-winning animal trademarks. The decision was announced after the analysis of extensive data from customers and employees that underscored the importance of maintaining the best practices of both brands. Republic said it expected the integration process to take 12-18 months.


On April 22, 2010, Republic Airways was presented with the Deal of the Year award by the Indiana chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. The award recognized Republic for its innovative acquisitions of Frontier and Midwest Airlines and their impact on Indiana and the industry.


On June 24, 2010, Republic Airways Chairman, President and CEO was recognized with Ernst & Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the Midwest region. The program awards those who demonstrate extraordinary success in the areas of innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Entrepreneurs are nominated and evaluated by local business, academic and community leaders.


As of today, Republic Airways Holdings owns Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Lynx Aviation, Midwest Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, collectively "the airlines." The airlines offer scheduled passenger service on approximately 1,600 flights daily to 121 cities in 44 states, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico under branded operations at Frontier, Midwest, and through fixed-fee airline services agreements with five major U.S. airlines. The fixed-fee flights are operated under an airline partner brand, such as AmericanConnection, Continental Express, Delta Connection, United Express, and US Airways Express. The airlines currently employ approximately 11,000 aviation professionals and operate 288 aircraft.