Bye, bye Regional Elite!


Well-Known Member
Looks like Delta is getting rid of another wholly owned company, this time Regional Elite!

Regional Elite to transition work to other service providers
August 7, 2012

Regional Elite Airline Services (REAS) – one of Delta’s two wholly owned aviation service providers – told its people Tuesday that the company will transition all of its work to other service providers by the end of the year. This move is expected to have no impact to Delta’s customers, people or operations.

Delta recently issued a request for proposals (RFP) to service providers for ground handling of regional carrier operations at more than 100 stations. As a normal course of business, Delta continuously reviews its supplier contracts to ensure partners deliver a reliable, efficient operation at competitive rates.

“The Regional Elite team has worked hard to run a strong operation for our customers. However, our cost structure kept us from effectively competing with other aviation service providers in this RFP,” said Don Stephens, s.v.p. – REAS, in a memo to employees. “Unfortunately, we were not awarded the work in the vast majority of these locations, which will mean higher overhead costs spread across a smaller number of stations.

“With very limited opportunities to maintain or grow our business, we will not be a viable company moving forward. As a result, we have made the decision to transition all of our remaining work to other aviation service providers by the end of the year,” Don said.

The majority of stations currently supported by Regional Elite will transition to Delta Global Services (DGS) in the coming months. Regional Elite employees in these stations will be offered positions with DGS at the same location.

As part of Delta’s recent RFP, Delta Global Services was awarded work in a total of 72 locations across the domestic system, making the company one of the largest aviation service providers in the industry.


Well-Known Member
This makes sense as to why so many of our Regional Elite stations are getting dropped. Some were good, some not so good.


Well-Known Member
I'd say I'm surprised... but I'm truly not. Their service, especially at DTW was dreadful at best.

...and they tuk mah jerb.


JC’s Resident Curmudgeon
I wonder what this does to DALPA's calculations of mainline versus regional costs.



Well-Known Member
Hopefully DTW gets better. Actually, I don't think it can get worse.....

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Well-Known Member
How can anybody possibly be any cheaper than Regional Elite? I waited 57 minutes to park in TUL about a month ago.....lined up at the gate, just staring at the only 2 people they had working take about an hour to turn around a Pinnacle 900. In the time we were waiting, American turned around a 757 with about 20 minutes to spare.....


New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
I think it's hilarious how one subsidiary owned by the mothership got underbid by another subsidiary, owned by the same mothership.

"Sorry folks, flight operations got underbid by in-flight so the stoo's are going to be reporting for initial training on all the aircraft" :)

Sent from my TRS-80


Well-Known Member
United loves doing this too. They switched from Delta Global Services to Air Wisconsin ground handling- rehired the same people into the same positions- but at first year pay/seniority. It's a way for the mothership to shed some costs every few years.


Honorary Member
rofl...maybe ASA can recapture some of our previously ran stations before REAS came along.

Hopefully that will be the case with a lot of airlines that lost ground handling contracts, but my cynical money is on another undercutter type operation getting it.


Steals Hotel Toilet Paper
This isn't going to make things run better. You're going to have the guys who worked for RE get hired by DGS, being even lazier than they used to be because they're getting paid less now.


Well-Known Member
This is amusing. As an Ex-Ramp Sup from DTW, I can tell you what is going to happen. Regional Elite is going bye bye. So the new contract holder is going to come in and hire all the old rampers and even worse pay rates. I remember when there was talk about unionizing the rampers, management said it wouldnt fly. They would just kick RE to the curb and find another company to take over. Again, same people, same cruddy pay rates.

I know you guys complain about service in DTW. Granted it's been 2 years since ive been there, but they try. Well, the ones that care try. I used to be in charge of B6 to C6. We had 6 gates, and turned the 900's, 700's, 200's, 145's, and Saabs. We were lucky to have two working belt loaders, and prayed the crew from the night shift charged the lektros for our AM shift. For period of a few month, C6 jet bridge was INOP, so it was a perpetual hardstand(total waste of labor). Mainline would come and steal our equipment, and would regularly drop bags off with 10 minutes to go.

And to top it off, we usually only had 6 rampers to operate the 6 gates, one of the six being myself. That's 6 people running 6 gates that saw between 35 and 40 flights in a 10 hour shift. Quickturns we the norm. It was hard work in the snow and in the summer heat. Nothing ruins boots quicker than concrete. We had the odd ASA 700 which needed an airstart, correction, almost every ASA needed an airstart. And sadly my favorite airline to push was Comair, they never went late, didn't care our headsets were trash and only needed one wing walker. I loved the fact they reported their times in and out instead of ACARS.

I was always amazed to hear pilots complain about the rampers being slow, even through I met very few who spent a summer ramping at some base. It was fun, stressful and at times rewarding.I remember Frank's pep talks(totally NSFW), and the pleasantries of Mr. Russo. Brake riding was always a riot. I even spent a few month in the hole working the radios next to dispatch and organizing the gate loads. If I knew you, and your flight was inbound, you never had to walk from C30. All escalators for you! Perks of the Job. I do miss the flight bennies. Delta Care team training was interesting too.

If you had a picture of me, I'm pretty sure some of you 9E pilots would recognize me. I was a chatterbox when pushing you out, always asking for your dirty jokes. 9E was my airline of choice on the next rung of the career ladder. Im now down in Houston slugging away in the chickenhawk. Sitting just shy of 1000 hours. I look forward to the days when I can put instructing behind me( and I know some of you would disagree ). But i've sat through 1000's of touch and goes, and countless stalls. It's not challenging anymore and I am getting close to burnout. 6 days a week, 12 hours a day.

In the end, It will be interesting to see where all the new hire FOs for the airlines come from. Career student enrollments are way down. Of our school's 100 or so students, 20 or so are foreign, 70 are weekend warriors or 14 yrs old(WHY!!!?), and maybe 10 are destined to work their way to a commercial ticket. Of that 10, I think 5 are airline bound. Our last CFI checkride candidate came through back in February. We are the busiest on the field. Other flight schools are showing a similar decline in enrolled career students. From what I've heard, ATP on the field is hurting bad.

RIP Regional Elite, I will not miss rebidding lines every other month. As for everyone flying for 9E right now, I hope things turn up for ya. I know a more than a few of you guys. Comair, Good luck in what you decide to do next.