ACA is going independent!

davetheflyer

New Member
Woo hoo!

Atlantic Coast Airlines Announces Plans to
Establish Independent Low-Fare Airline
Company Anticipates Ending Service As United Express
In Favor of All-Jet Operation Based At Washington Dulles



Dulles, VA, (July 28, 2003) - Atlantic Coast Airlines (ACA) (NASDAQ/NM: ACAI) today announced it anticipates that its longstanding relationship with United Airlines will end, and that it will establish a new, independent low-fare airline to be based at Washington Dulles International Airport.



The Company’s decision to independently operate as a low-fare carrier is the result of an extensive evaluation of changes in the passenger airline industry that the Company has conducted over the past two years. As part of that evaluation and for contingency planning purposes, the Company began to explore alternatives to its United Express operations after United’s bankruptcy filing. The Company believes that its dedicated employees, fleet of 85 50-seat jets, Dulles-based infrastructure, strong capital base, and extensive operational and market planning/scheduling experience represent a substantial competitive advantage and provide a firm foundation on which to build a new independent low-fare airline.



Atlantic Coast Airlines Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kerry Skeen said, “We are extremely excited about the challenges that lie ahead and are actively moving forward with the launch of our new low-fare carrier. Our company will offer a product based on what today’s consumers are demanding—low, simple fares, excellent service and convenient schedules featuring frequent departures and flexible ticketing rules. We are confident that as an independent carrier we will be able to offer better overall value and service for consumers and the communities we will serve.” He added, “We strongly believe today’s announcement is the beginning of a bright, new long-term future for our company.”



In addition to its 50-seat jets that would be used on routes of up to 1,000 miles, the Company has selected Skyworks Capital to assist it in the acquisition of larger aircraft that would allow service on longer routes. The Company is continuing to explore whether it would utilize Airbus or Boeing aircraft.



Consistent with the Company’s plans to operate as an independent low-fare airline, it also has been in discussions with other airlines regarding potential code share opportunities in which the Company would remain independent and operate under its own brand.



In order to provide the needed infrastructure to compete as an independent operation, the Company is finalizing an agreement with Navitaire for the use of its Open Skies reservation system, and has engaged GKV Communications to handle its advertising and marketing campaigns.



The Company anticipates that it will formally announce detailed consumer marketing and branding plans for the new low-fare airline in the near future—with a complete advertising program expected to be introduced to the public approximately 60 days before the first day of service. ACA’s commencement of service as an independent airline depends on the terms and timing of its disengagement as a United Express carrier, which cannot be projected at this time. United has the option under bankruptcy rules to assume the existing United Express Agreement by agreeing to honor all terms in full or to reject the agreement. The Company's plan to operate an independent low-fare airline is based on its expectation that United will reject the United Express Agreement. Until such time, ACA intends to continue to fulfill its obligations under its present United Express Agreement.



All ACA/United Express operations continue at this time without interruption, and operating revenues from United are expected to continue until the final ACA/United Express flights are completed.



ACA’s Delta Connection operation, based in Cincinnati and Boston, is expected to remain unaffected by any of these developments.



Statements in this press release and by Company executives regarding its implementation of new business strategies and its relationship with United Airlines, Inc., as well as regarding operations, earnings, revenues and costs, represent forward-looking information. A number of risks and uncertainties exist which could cause actual results to differ materially from these projected results. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others: United’s option under bankruptcy rules to assume or reject the existing United Express Agreement, and the fact that the Company cannot predict the timing or outcome of United’s decision process; the timing and impact on the Company’s ability to operate an independent airline of any disengagement by the Company as a United Express carrier under the United Express Agreement or pursuant to bankruptcy court proceedings; the continued financial health of Delta Air Lines, Inc.; the ability to acquire and obtain financing for any additional aircraft intended to be operated under its new business plan and other possible consequences of credit evaluations of the Company’s new business plan; the ability to efficiently transition out of the United Express program;


unanticipated events or circumstances that could impact the Company’s ability to implement its new business strategy; the revenue and cost assumptions utilized in developing the Company’s new business strategy; reactions from competitors, which may include pricing and service decisions in markets where the Company may operate; general economic and industry conditions; additional acts of war; and risks and uncertainties arising from the events of September 11, the impact of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome on travel and from the slow economy, any of which may impact the Company, its aircraft manufacturers and its other suppliers in ways that the Company is not currently able to predict. Certain of these and other risk factors are more fully disclosed under “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in ACAI’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002 and in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three-month period ended March 31, 2003. These statements are made as of July 28, 2003 and ACA undertakes no obligation to update any such forward-looking information, including as a result of any new information, future events, changed expectations or otherwise.



ACA currently operates as United Express and Delta Connection in the Eastern and Midwestern United States as well as Canada. The Company has a total fleet of 148 aircraft—including 118 jets—and offers over 840 daily departures, serving 84 destinations.



Atlantic Coast Airlines employs over 4,800 aviation professionals. The common stock of parent company Atlantic Coast Airlines Holdings, Inc. is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol ACAI. For more information about ACA, visit our website at www.atlanticcoast.com.
 

H46Bubba

Well-Known Member
It says that the Delta Connection part of ACA will continue, but if ACA aquires 70 seat+ aircraft, won't Delta dump ACA? They better know what they're doing! ACA's biggest competator in the eastern corredor will be USAirways as well as Delta. They're going to have it rough starting off.
 

pljenkins

Resident Knucklehead
Good luck to them! Out of the frying pan and into the acid bath!

Not sure how they plan on pulling this off on the East Coast, but none the less, miracles do happen from time to time.

P.
 

davetheflyer

New Member
From the scuttlebut that I've heard, if DAL dumps us, then they assume the leases on 30+ Do 328 Jets. Right now, we can't leave DAL and they can't leave us.
 

Kingairer

'Tiger Team' Member
This is very big news folks. Its going to be a tough road in my opinion. I sure hope ACA doesnt have to furlough any, but unless they can transfer some of their RJs to DL, i cant see them operating a new airline with 80 jets immedietly. They are not only going to be competing with Jetblue, SWA, Airtran, and USAirways, But also whoever replaces them as a UAL express carrier on the routes they currently operate.
 

Joshua949

New Member
u guys are forgeting that it has to compete with American &/or American Eagle...you might not know it but AA is coming back with a strong run...they're no where near giving up competing with the low cost carriers to..
 

Kingairer

'Tiger Team' Member
American is trying to keep from dying. They are all but abandoning STL and leaving connection to fight off Southwest. Whether this is a short term or long term fix is yet to be seen. This whole lowfare idea is more of an idea than a relality. If you look at alot of ticket prices many of the traditional carriers offer similar prices now, but people are so hooked on the low fare idea that those airline that air claiming to be LCC are winning out.
 

Joshua949

New Member
of course they dont...maybe they never will...but AA is coming back with a punch...nobody knows just how hard of a punch its gonna be..
 

gay_pilot18

New Member
Lets face it Delta rocks....there the most finacially secure of any of the majors and we never once talked bout filing chapter 11.

Delta will beat American anyday
 

aloft

New Member
First off, what's this "we" stuff?

Secondly, Delta has hardly emerged from the downturn unscathed. They've still got a large number of employees on furlough with no recall plans in sight. About the only thing I can credit DL management with is keeping their mouths shut and not saying things they later came to regret, a la AMR's Don Carty and his untimely departure with his foot firmly in his pie-hole.

Thirdly, you don't know WHAT was talked about by DL's board; I can virtually assure you the possibly of Chapter 11 bankruptcy was discussed, particulary if the unions didn't make sufficient concessions.
 

Windchill

Well-Known Member
How much is it going to cost ACA to re-paint the fleet with its own new livery and what's it going to look like?
 

vipermcg

New Member
If ACA left United, wouldn't United have to abandon its IAD hub altogether? I would think it would be pretty hard for another airline the size of ACA to move in and take over most of its flights.
 

flycanuck

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
If ACA left United, wouldn't United have to abandon its IAD hub altogether? I would think it would be pretty hard for another airline the size of ACA to move in and take over most of its flights.

[/ QUOTE ]

I don't think it really matters if they're both at the same airport. ACA will never be able to replace all of UALs flights. If anyone would change hubs it would be ACA in my opinion.

-Flycanuck
 

MartinFierro

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
American is trying to keep from dying. They are all but abandoning STL and leaving connection to fight off Southwest.

[/ QUOTE ]


Not quite the case anymore. AA has turned a profit the past several months after securing concessions from the unions. It is streamlining its operation to be more competitive, but right now is in a much more stable position than DAL, UAL, or NWA. Delta's got huge problems with jetBlue cutting into it's Florida market share, and Airtran cutting away on Delta's home court. Hardly a cushy situation. AA has problems too, but I don't think they are as potentially harmful as Delta's may be in the long run.

As for STL, the righting has been on the wall for a long time.

I hope ACA does well. A number of my collegues left Eagle for there, and I'd hate to see them on the street again.
 

davetheflyer

New Member
There will most likely be a new name, but that hasn't been decided yet.

They are saying no furloughs. In fact, they are expecting to recall furloughees as we double the number of pilots due to increased utilization and growth.

It's going to be on the JetBlue type model. We dominate a hub and offer simple cut rate fares. We also plan to double the number of daily flights in the near term. It's a business model that can work.

Personally, I expect that we'll probably slowly decrease the UAL flying as another carrier comes in, and start our new service at the same time.
 

John_Jones

New Member
I know many of there aircraft are already in the ACA livery, sounds sortof strange that they would change there name. Nice airline now days though and I am sure they will be nice and well keptup in the future...I would expect like Dave said a lot of hiring from them any maybe even greatly expanding. Would you say that they will greatly expand the operations altogether Dave?
 

shep

New Member
I realize ACA has an existing relationship with Delta but ... I would love to see them or any other airline compete in the Cincinnati market.
 

BLRJSTREAM

New Member
I have a buddy who just got furloughed from DAL it think he would also agree that DAL has had a lot of trouble. I work for ACA and I know that there is gonna be furlough's here. There is barely enough room at IAD for 20 RJ's forget about 85. They are just saying no layoffs because they dont want to scare anybody...... look for at least a 20 to 30% reduction in workforce
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
I have a buddy who just got furloughed from DAL it think he would also agree that DAL has had a lot of trouble. I work for ACA and I know that there is gonna be furlough's here. There is barely enough room at IAD for 20 RJ's forget about 85. They are just saying no layoffs because they dont want to scare anybody...... look for at least a 20 to 30% reduction in workforce

[/ QUOTE ]

On of my good pals who just made captain over there is looking into nursing as an option.

Scary days.
 
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