Atlantic Coast Airlines, which operates primarily as a United Express carrier at Washington Dulles (it also flies for United out of Chicago and flies a bit for Delta), has been in a world of hurt lately. They’ve been unable to come to terms with United on their contract, as United is attempting to gain cost concessions as part of its overall bankruptcy proceeding. And in the meantime, Mesa Airlines (whose CEO used to work for and remains close to) Richard Branson, has proposed a takeover.
Atlantic Coast is now offering up rumblings about going it alone as a low cost carrier. My take? More desperate posturing. Or at least for their sake, it had better be because a Dulles-based carrier operating regional jets and turboprops and without the muscle of a major carrier and major frequent flyer program is simply not that attractive a proposition.