Home Medical Factors Facing Pilots Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Aviation News Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics General Aviation Helicopters
Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Links To Other Sites Editorials Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Upcoming Events Editorials


Mesaba Airlines

Mesaba Airlines was an American regional airline based in Minneapolis, Minnesota The airline operated under Mesaba Aviation, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corporation.  

Its flights were operated under the name Delta Connection for Delta Air Lines and US Airways Express for US Airways. Mesaba Airlines effectively ceased operations on January 4, 2012 when all aircraft and personnel were shifted under the Pinnacle Airlines operating certificate, although Pinnacle Corp. technically retains the former Mesaba operating certificate. 

Mesaba was founded in 1944 by Gordy Newstrom in the Mesabi Range city of Coleraine, Minnesota and started operations in the same year under the name of Mesaba Aviation.


It had one airplane, a Piper Cub purchased for $1,300, and it was used to shuttle employees of the Blandin Paper Mill Company from Grand Rapids, Minnesota to Minneapolis. In 1950 Newstrom moved the company to Grand Rapids. In 1970, the Halverson family of Duluth, Minnesota bought Mesaba from Newstrom. On 4 February 1973, they started regularly scheduled airline services serving rural Minnesota communities. 

The Swenson family of Thief River Falls, Minnesota purchased Mesaba Aviation in 1977. They took the company public in 1982 as the airline began flying to Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota, using a fleet of Beech 99s. In 1983, Mesaba became a codeshare partner of Republic Airlines, flying turboprop aircraft from small regional communities to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. In 1986, after the merger of Republic Airlines and Northwest Orient Airlines, Mesaba transitioned their codeshare partnership, and began operations as a Northwest Airlink carrier. 

Mesaba began feeder service from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to small airports across the east and midwest using Fokker F27 and Fairchild Metro aircraft in 1988. Maintenance bases were established both in Detroit and Wausau, Wisconsin. In 1991, Mesaba began adding the first of 25 De Havilland Canada Dash 8 aircraft (leased from Northwest Airlines) to begin replacing the Fokker F-27's. In 1995, Mesaba and Northwest reached an agreement to provide service with Saab 340 turboprop aircraft.   



By 1996, Mesaba's fleet consisted of 55 aircraft, with projections of 2006 predicting a fleet of 114 aircraft. The company employed 1,540 employees. At one time Mesaba had its headquarters on the grounds of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and in Fort Snelling, unincorporated Hennepin County, Minnesota. On January 4, 2012, the Mesaba operation was fenced into the current Pinnacle Airlines operating certificate. In the future the Colgan Airlines operating certificate will be renamed Mesaba.
(For the latest news please checkout our home page)
blog comments powered by Disqus  
Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ©AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share

AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine