Colgan Air

Colgan Air
Colgan Air
Founded 1991
Hubs As US Airways Express:
Logan International Airport
As United Express:
Washington Dulles International Airport
As Continental Connection:
George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport
Fleet size 55
Destinations 65
Parent company Pinnacle Airlines Corp.
Headquarters Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Key people John Spanjers (Senior Vice President)
Charles Colgan
(Founder / Former CEO)

Colgan Air, Inc. is an American certificated regional airline subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. The headquarters of Colgan Air are located in Memphis, Tennessee.

Colgan Air's major hubs are Boston's Logan International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, and Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. It has been operating as US Airways Express since 1999 and now serves almost 50 cities in the Northeast and Texas as a feeder for US Airways Express, United Express, and Continental Connection. Pinnacle Airlines Corp. plans to phase out the Colgan Air name.



Colgan Air building in Manassas, VA

Charles J. Colgan founded [1] fixed base operator Colgan Airways Corporation at Manassas Airport in 1965. It began scheduled service under contract with IBM in 1970 between Manassas, Virginia near Washington, D.C., and Dutchess County Airport near Poughkeepsie, New York. It expanded over the next decade and a half and was sold in 1986 to Presidential Airways.

After Presidential went defunct in 1989, Colgan and his son, Michael J., restarted service under the name National Capital on a Washington/Dulles - Binghamton, NY route on December 1, 1991. Service was provided with Beechcraft 1900C equipment. This route was later dropped and the name Colgan Air adapted. On July 1, 1997 Colgan became a feeder for Continental Airlines, operating under the name Continental Connection.

Saab 340B in Colgan Air livery

On December 11, 1999 Colgan left the Continental system and became exclusively a US Airways Express carrier, focusing its routes around major US Airways stations such as LaGuardia, Pittsburgh, and Boston. On January 25, 2005 it announced it would acquire additional Saab 340 aircraft and resume service as Continental Connection out of Houston.

On October 4, 2005 Colgan Air started providing flights for United Express flights out of Washington's Dulles International Airport. Initially serving Charleston, WV, and Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY, Colgan has expanded its service to include State College, Pennsylvania; Charlottesville, Virginia; Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Binghamton, New York.

On January 18, 2007, Colgan Air, Inc. was acquired by Pinnacle Airlines Corporation for $20 million. Under the terms of the purchase, Colgan's regional aircraft fleet will continue to operate independently of Pinnacle Airlines Corporation's major subsidiary, Pinnacle Airlines, whose all regional jet fleet continue to fly and operate in the livery of Northwest Airlink. It is a strategic move by Pinnacle to get access to Colgan’s partners, Continental Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.[2]

On February 5, 2007, it was announced that Colgan Air will provide service for Continental Airlines out of Newark Liberty International Airport starting in early 2008. The service is marketed as Continental Connection.

Colgan Air headquarters has moved from Manassas, VA (Washington DC Metro Area) to the Pinnacle Airlines Corp. headquarters in Memphis, TN as of December 2009.

In early October 2009, Colgan Air announced that LaGuardia Airport would be closing as a crew base, effective January 4, 2010. This decision was in response to the slot transaction at LaGuardia and Washington National Airport announced by US Airways and Delta Air Lines.[citation needed]

In July 2010 Pinnacle Airlines Corp. announced that the Colgan Air name would be phased out. All Pinnacle Airlines Corp. propeller flights will be operated by Mesaba Airlines. The Colgan Air name had associations with Flight 3407.[3]


As United Express

Unmarked Saab 340B operated by Colgan Air at Logan International Airport

As US Airways Express

As Continental Connection

Bombardier Q400 in Continental Connection livery




Colgan Air fleet [4]
Aircraft Total Orders Options Passengers Notes
Bombardier Q400 30 0 30 74 operated as Continental Connection
operated as United Express
Saab 340B 34 0 0 33 11 operated as Continental Connection
10 operated as US Airways Express
7 operated as United Express
6 used for dedicated services

All aircraft are operated under Colgan Air's operating certificate.


The headquarters of Colgan Air are located in Memphis, Tennessee.[5] The headquarters were formerly on the grounds of the Manassas Regional Airport in Manassas, Virginia.[6][7][8] On Tuesday June 28, 2005, the Prince William County, Virginia Board of County Supervisors voted to sell 10 acres (4.0 ha) of land in the Innovation@Prince William business park in Prince William County to Colgan. Colgan Air planned to build a 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) corporate headquarters and training facility in the business park for $1.7 million (including equipment costs) and move its headquarters from its airport site. Colgan planned to move its administrative and training employees from the headquarters site and other sites in Manassas and Prince William County to the new complex. The company also planned to hire around 90 additional employees as part of the process.[8]

After Pinnacle Airlines Corp. bought Colgan Air in 2007 and made Colgan Air its subsidiary, Pinnacle agreed to keep Colgan's headquarters in Manassas as long as, in the company's words, "it continues to make operational and financial sense for the organization."[7] In 2009 the Colgan Air announced that it was moving its headquarters to Memphis to be in proximity to the offices of Pinnacle Airlines, Colgan Air's parent company. 50 employees were scheduled to transfer to Memphis to work in crew scheduling, dispatch training, flight operations, and other administrative tasks. While 45 other employees were asked to move to Memphis, they declined so they could stay in the Manassas area.[9] In September 2009 the human resources department was scheduled to stay in Manassas.[7] In October 2009 Pinnacle Airlines Corp. tried to get additional incentives from the State of Tennessee as the Colgan headquarters were about to move.[10] During that month Colgan announced that 20 employees would remain in Manassas to man the two hangars at Manassas Regional Airport. 100 jobs in Manassas were lost as part of the headquarters move.[9] Helaine Becker, a transportation analyst employed by Jesup & Lamont Securities Corp, believes that the moving of Colgan will help reduce costs; she said that the company did not need two corporate headquarters and that "I think it has more to do with that than anything else."[7]

In 2010 Pinnacle Airlines Corp. considered moving its headquarters to Downtown Memphis and to Olive Branch, Mississippi, and the airline also considered keeping the headquarters in its current location. Pinnacle selected Downtown Memphis, and on October 8, 2010, the airline held a celebration for its decision to move into One Commerce Square in Downtown Memphis. The Center City Commission, the City of Memphis, and Shelby County gave out $10 million in incentives, including free parking, to convince Pinnacle to move to Downtown Memphis.[11]

Accidents and incidents


  1. ^ Streng, Aileen (February 13, 2009). "Colgan rushes to Manassas after N.Y. plane crash". Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  2. ^ Flight International, 23–29 January 2007
  3. ^ Fairbanks, Phil. "Phaseout is set for Colgan Air name." The Buffalo News. July 8, 2010. Retrieved on July 9, 2010.
  4. ^ Colgan Air fleet at Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  5. ^ "Contact." Colgan Air. Retrieved on February 28, 2010.
  6. ^ "Employment." Colgan Air. July 3, 2001. Retrieved on February 28, 2010.
  7. ^ a b c d Plumb, Tierney. "Colgan Air leaving Manassas." Washington Business Journal. Wednesday September 30, 2009. Retrieved on February 28, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "Business Notes." The Washington Post. June 30, 2005. Prince William Extra, Start Page T:10. Retrieved on February 27, 2010. "The Board of County Supervisors voted Tuesday to sell the Manassas-based regional airline 10 acres (40,000 m2) at the business park for $1.7 million. Company officials plan to build a 40,000-square-foot (3,700 m2) corporate headquarters and training facility, valued at $1.7 million, including equipment, inside Innovation@Prince William. Colgan Air's administrative and training employees will relocate from the company's airport office and other sites cross Manassas and Prince William County and about 90 more employees will be hired, said Michael J. Colgan, president of Colgan Air."
  9. ^ a b "In Brief: Colgan Air to Move Headquarters Out of Manassas, Costing 100 Jobs." Washington Post. Sunday October 4, 2009. Retrieved on February 29, 2010.
  10. ^ Ashby, Andy. "Pinnacle seeking new incentives for Colgan move." Memphis Business Journal. Friday October 9, 2009. Retrieved on February 28, 2010. 1.
  11. ^ Risher, Wayne. "Pinnacle's decision to move Downtown lifts hopes for other development." The Commercial Appeal. October 8, 2010. Retrieved on October 8, 2010.
  12. ^ "UPDATE ON NTSB INVESTIGATIONS INTO RECENT BEECH 1900D ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS." National Transportation Safety Board. November 21, 2003. Retrieved on February 13, 2009.
  13. ^ FOXnews, "Commuter Plane Crashes Into Buffalo-Area Home; 50 Killed", Friday, February 13, 2009 (accessed 18 Feb 2009)

External links

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