Northwest Avro RJ85s return from the desert

In a surprise development, two of the nine Avro RJ85s that Mesaba recently parked have returned to service. N503XJ (msn E2310) and N510XJ (msn E2323) had both been parked at Marana-Pinal Airpark in Arizona in early November, but were both ferried back in late November and placed in service on behalf of Northwest Airlink. Bankrupt Northwest Airlines, which is under Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection, has received court approval to reject the leases on its 35 Avro RJ85s. It instructed Mesaba to park nine by 31 October, and the remaining 26 by 20 December. There has been speculation, however, that this was primarily an effort to negotiate lower leases. The most recent moves may lend credence to this view, as does the fact that the airline’s schedule continues to show services as being operated by RJ85s throughout the spring.

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