Mesa Air, which operates mainly as a supplier of regional-jet service to big airlines, says it will have to file for bankruptcy court protection if a contract dispute with Delta Air Lines doesn't go its way.
In a filing today with the S.E.C., Mesa said that if Delta succeeds in terminating a contract under which Mesa supplies regional-jet service to Delta, the result would be a series of defaults that will lead to bankruptcy court.
Mesa -- which is based in Phoenix -- operates 182 aircraft with over 1,000 departures to 157 cities in the U.S., Canada, the Bahamas and Mexico. It flies under the names Delta Connection, United Express, US Airways Express and go! Hawaiian Airlines.
Mesa is in the process of shutting down operations at another subsidiary, Air Midwest, which supplies air service to 20 small and mid-size cities under the federally subsidized Essential Air Services Program.
The Delta Connection business flies 34 ERJ-145 regional jets under contract with Delta Air Lines. Mesa and Delta have been in a legal battle since Delta said in March that it planned to drop Mesa's services.
Major airlines have been shrinking domestic capacity, and regional jets such as ERJ-145s are being sidelined all over the industry.
A lawsuit by Mesa against Delta is pending. Mesa says in its S.E.C. filing that it expects a ruling in late May or early June.