Mesa Air files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection

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PHOENIX (AP) — Mesa Air Group says it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will restructure its business mostly because of financial obligations for leases on airplanes it no longer needs.

In November United Airlines chose not to extend a deal under which Mesa ran 26 regional jets for the carrier.

The regional airline says its go!-Mokulele Hawaiian joint venture is not included in the bankruptcy filing and will run a full flight schedule. The rest of its operations are expected to run normally during the restructuring process.

Mesa, which currently runs 130 aircraft, says the reorganization will allow it to get rid of its extra planes and compete better. Aside from United, the Phoenix company runs regional flights for carriers including Delta Air Lines and US Airways.