Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Participates in Grand Opening for Chautauqua Airlines at Louisville International Airport

Press Release Date:  Thursday, April 13, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

Mandy Lambert

New hangar will employ approximately 300 people at full staff

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher joined Chautauqua Airlines officials today for a ceremony marking the grand opening of the company’s aircraft maintenance facility at the Louisville International Airport. The new 60,250 square-foot hangar will employ approximately 300 people at full staff with an average annual salary in excess of $32,000.

“My administration strives to make Kentucky one of America’s leading states for business, creating jobs and opportunities for all Kentuckians,” said Governor Ernie Fletcher. “The addition of three hundred well-paying jobs will have a significant impact on the community. I want to thank Chautauqua Airlines for bringing this tremendous economic development opportunity to the greater Louisville area.”

Chautauqua Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, provides regional jet service for American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Air Lines and US Airways and is the only regional airline to partner with four major airlines. The airline was selected as Regional Airline of the Year by Air Transport World in 2004 and by Regional Airline World in 2003. The airline also received the Aviation Excellence Award from Flight International in 2005.

“We are very pleased to open this new state of the art facility which will provide us with increased maintenance capacity that will support our growing fleet. We appreciate the efforts of Governor Fletcher, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Mayor Abramson, and the City of Louisville in making this facility possible,” said Bryan Bedford, president and CEO of Republic Airways – parent company of Chautauqua Airlines.

The new facility will increase the company’s overnight maintenance capacity in Louisville 200 percent from two to six aircraft. In addition, Louisville serves as a large crew base for the airline with up to eight Chautauqua Airlines aircraft remaining overnight in Louisville. Up to six aircraft will be maintained nightly in the facility.

“The Chautauqua Airlines Maintenance Facility is a prime example of how the re-use of land acquired by the airport during the Louisville Airport Improvement Project can be used to create new economic growth for our community and region,” said J.D. Nichols, Airport Board chairman. 

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) approved Chautauqua Airlines for up to $7.8 million in tax incentives over a 10 year period under the Kentucky Jobs Development Act (KJDA), a program aimed at increasing employment in the commonwealth.

Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an airline holding company that operates Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America. The company offers scheduled passenger service on approximately 800 flights daily to 81 cities in 34 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas through airline services agreements with four major U.S. airlines. All of its flights are operated under its major airline partner brand, such as American Connection, Delta Connection, United Express and US Airways Express. The airline currently employs approximately 3,200 aviation professionals and operates 148 regional jet aircraft, including 56 Embraer 170 aircraft.