|Founded||1985 (as Express Airlines I)|
|Parent company||Delta Air Lines|
|Headquarters||Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport|
|Key people||Jim Graham (President and CEO)|
Endeavor Air is an American regional airline that operates as Delta Connection for Delta Air Lines. The airline was founded as Express Airlines I in 1985 and changed names to Pinnacle Airlines in 2002. In 2012, Pinnacle's parent company filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, then emerged as a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines. The name of the airline was changed to Endeavor Air on August 1, 2013.
Its corporate headquarters are located in Delta Air Lines Building C, on the property of Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. It has hubs at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport and New York's LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport. Until the restructuring, Endeavor also operated a hub at Memphis International Airport.
In February 1985, the airline was established as Express Airlines I, offering regional airline service to major airlines. The airline's founder, Michael J. Brady, had planned to create several regional airlines under parent company Phoenix Airline Services, Inc, hence the roman numeral "I" in the name. A second company, established as Express Airlines II (known as "Express II"), was created by spinning off Express I's operations at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport to a separate entity. However, Express II contracted with Express I to provide crew scheduling, operational control, and training. Express II was later recombined back into Express I.
Express I began its first code-sharing agreement, in May 1985, with Republic Airlines. Republic was the dominant carrier in Memphis but, in keeping with the hub-and-spoke concept, wanted to add more smaller cities and free up its larger DC-9 jets to serve longer stage-length routes. Express I accomplished this by adding service, operating as Republic Express, to three cities using BAe Jetstream 31 aircraft. Within six months, Express Airlines I was operating in ten markets using nine Jetstream 31s and two Saab 340 aircraft.
By its first anniversary, Republic Express, as the service was known, was operating 20 Jetstream 31s and seven Saab 340s in 32 markets. Following regulatory and shareholder approvals, Northwest Airlines acquired Republic Airlines on October 1, 1986. Subsequently, the Republic Express brand merged with the Northwest Airlink brand.
Over the next decade, Express I provided airline services as Northwest Airlink to 56 cities in the Southeast and upper Mid-West. In 1997, Northwest Airlines bought Express I from Phoenix Airline Services. On April 1, 1997, Express I became a wholly owned subsidiary of Northwest Airlines. In order to consolidate the many Airlink systems operated at that time, Express I ceased flying from Minneapolis-St. Paul, and instead concentrated on the Memphis hub.
In August 1997, Express I moved its corporate headquarters to Memphis, allowing all the various departments to function from its main base of operations. On May 7, 2000, Express I became the launch operator of the Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) at Northwest.
Express I further expanded with the development of three additional Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO) facilities related to CRJ operations. The primary CRJ MRO is located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and is capable of handling up to four aircraft undercover. There were two also additional CRJ maintenance sites were located in Indiana at South Bend and Fort Wayne, but closed after the bankruptcy,
On May 8, 2002, Express Airlines I changed its name to Pinnacle Airlines. A new holding company, Pinnacle Airlines Corporation, had been created earlier that year. Pinnacle Airlines, Inc was moved from Northwest Airlines, Inc to Pinnacle Airlines Corporation. Over the next decade, the parent company acquired other airlines, such as Colgan Air and Mesaba Airlines.
In 2006, Northwest agreed to a new Air Service Agreement (ASA) that contracted Pinnacle to fly 124 CRJs until 2017. A clause within the ASA stipulated that if Pinnacle and the Air Line Pilots Association did not agree on a new pilot contract by March 31, 2007, then Northwest could remove up to 17 CRJs from Pinnacle's fleet. After the deadline passed with no new pilot contract, Northwest exercised its right to remove 17 CRJs from Pinnacle, starting in September 2008 at a rate of two CRJs per month. This 17 CRJs were handed over to Mesaba Airlines in 2008, which Pinnacle's parent company later acquired in 2010.
Northwest had also allowed Pinnacle to seek flying for other carriers. On April 30, 2007, Pinnacle Airlines Corp. signed a 10-year contract with Delta Air Lines to be a Delta Connection carrier. The 16 Bombardier CRJ 900's began delivery in November 2007 and the deliveries were completed in May 2009. The first batch of delivered aircraft was based in Atlanta and began service in December 2007. On June 10, 2008 Pinnacle announced that Delta planned to withdraw from the contract by July 31, 2008, for failure to make its timetable. However, on July 18, 2008, Delta announced that an agreement had been reached that would allow Pinnacle to continue flying for Delta under the terms of the initial contract. The remaining 4 CRJ-900s would be delivered between January and May 2009, at which point all 15 CRJ-900s would be in service for Delta Connection.
On January 4, 2012, Pinnacle's fleet grew when its parent company moved aircraft and personnel from Mesaba Airlines, which ceased operations when the operating certificate was returned to the FAA. It also acquired personnel from Colgan Air after it ceased operations on September 5, 2012.
On April 1, 2012, Pinnacle's parent company and its subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. The airline discontinued its operation of its Saab 340 and Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft by the end of November 2012. On May 1, 2013, Pinnacle Airlines Corporation emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization as a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines. After restructuring, the airline was renamed to Endeavor Air, its headquarters were moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and agreements with Delta were made to operate 76-seat and 50-seat regional jets.
On October 27, 2016, Endeavor Air adopted EDV as its new ICAO airline code and "Endeavor" as its callsign, replacing its previous code of FLG and "Flagship" callsign. The first flight to operate under the new callsign was EDV3816 from Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City to New York-JFK.
In March 2017, Endeavor announced it would be re-opening an Atlanta crew and maintenance base, operating CRJ-200 aircraft at this hub. By July 2017, Endeavor had five crew and ten maintenance bases. CRJ-900 operations were added to Atlanta later in the year, with the transfer of aircraft from ExpressJet. The CRJ-700 was introduced in 2018.
On September 27, 2018, former Pinnacle Airlines CEO was shot dead in Memphis, Tennessee in an apparent drive by shooting. Authorities say Philip Trenary was killed in a shooting Thursday night on South Front Street in downtown Memphis about 8 p.m. Trenary also served as the CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber.
Endeavor Air operates crew and maintenance bases at:
Endeavor Air operates additional maintenance bases at:
As of October 2020, the Endeavor Air fleet consists of the following aircraft.