aha! filed for bankruptcy protection, cancelling three flights each week from Fresno to Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Photo via aha!
Written by Frank Lopez
Fresno travelers are losing some leisure options with the bankruptcy announcement of aha! Airlines.
aha!, which is operated by Georgia-based ExpressJet, launched three weekly flights from Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) to the Reno-Tahoe area in November 2021. The carrier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this month and has ceased all flight operations.
aha! operated from Reno-Tahoe to 11 Western U.S. cities, including Fresno and Bakersfield. At the company’s peak, ExpressJet operated more than 450 aircraft as a former regional partner of United Airlines.
“A combination of conditions led us to this decision,” said Subodh Karnik, chairman and CEO of ExpressJet in a press release. “Despite the valiant efforts of our employees to overcome challenges, and despite great support by our cities and airports – especially Reno-Tahoe and the community there, we arrived at a point where termination of operations was in the best interest of our stakeholders.”
ExpressJet cited growth hampered by lack of aircraft availability, inability to establish passenger service infrastructure in smaller airports, lower revenues, fuel prices and other costs as reasons for the decision, according to a news release.
The flight between FAT and Reno-Tahoe International Airport lasted one hour and operated each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
ExpressJet expects to enter liquidation in the coming weeks.
The company said it is unable to assist with alternate travel arrangements for existing customers. Customers are advised to contact their credit card company to request refunds.