Compass to close Seattle base after losing Delta contract

Regional airline’s move comes on the heels of Trans States Airlines’ planned shutdown.

Minnesota-based Compass Airlines will close its base at Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA) on May 1 and lay off its 197 employees there, the regional carrier announced in a filing with Washington state authorities.

The base closure and redundancies come after Delta Air Lines terminated its regional affiliate Delta Connection partnerships with Compass and Missouri-based GoJet Airlines in August. That left Delta with three remaining feeder carriers operating as Delta Connection: Minneapolis-based Endeavor Air, Indianapolis-based Republic Airways and Utah-based SkyWest Airlines.

The consolidation of Delta’s regional affiliate program will see Compass shrink its fleet of Embraer 175s from 56 down to 20. Republic will take on the surplus aircraft.

Part of Compass’s space at SEA, which is leased by Delta, will be given to SkyWest, with the rest switching to Delta mainline flying.

Compass is wholly owned by Trans States Holdings, which also owns GoJet and Trans States Airlines. In February, Trans States Airlines announced it would cease operations at the end of the year, citing challenges related to financial issues, pilot shortages and the streamlining of United Airlines’ regional affiliate operations.

Compass will continue to operate its 20 E175s on behalf of American Airlines as American Eagle, with a primary base at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Photo credit: Compass Airlines