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Small Lambert airline to shut down

Trans States, which is based in Bridgeton, told its employees Monday that it has a balance sheet "that is neither profitable nor sustainable"
Credit: SLBJ
A Trans States Airlines jet.

ST. LOUIS — Trans States Airlines, which operates four flights a day at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, is set to shut down at the end of the year because of rising expenses, according to a report. It operates regional jets for United Airlines' Chicago and Denver flights, a Lambert spokesman said.

Trans States, which is based in Bridgeton, told its employees Monday that it has a balance sheet "that is neither profitable nor sustainable."

"Trans States Airlines still has an extremely important role to play in the United network throughout the remainder of 2020, but you will see a measured reduction of aircraft come off-line before the start of summer flying," the letter to employees said. "United is counting on us to operate a significant number of aircraft throughout the summer, after which aircraft transitions will resume at a yet to be determined rate through end of the year, with all flying to be concluded by the end of 2020." The letter was first reported by Aviation Maintenance Magazine.

It said that United wished to "simplify" its Embraer 145 program, referring to a regional jet, "by consolidating flying."

The 50-seat jets have faced significant market pressures, the company said.

"At a time when we need to fly each of our airframes to their fullest potential, we are facing a Captain shortage that will result in an inability to meet our increased productivity objectives and even our current contractural flying obligations," the company said. 

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