Mesa Air Group is set to begin B737 operations following the signing of a five-year CMI contract with DHL Express.

The US production carrier holding said in a statement Mesa Airlines (YV, Phoenix Sky Harbor) would operate two B737-400(F)s on behalf of DHL out of its Cincinnati Int'l hub. The aircraft will be leased from DHL Worldwide Express with the first scheduled to be in service this October.

“This new cargo operation opens new doors for Mesa,” said Brad Rich, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “We are proud to offer new opportunities to our employees as we enter the cargo industry. In particular, Mesa pilots will now have the ability to earn a 737 type rating and receive the highest pay in the regional industry, all without leaving the company.”

Until this development, Mesa Airlines had specialised in production carrier flights for US mainline carriers including American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) and United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare). According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, its fleet entails one CRJ200ER, twenty CRJ700 Srs 701ERs, fourteen CRJ900ERs, eleven CRJ900LRs, and sixty ERJ 170-200LRs.

DHL Express already has a similar contract with Kalitta Charters II (KII, Detroit Willow Run) which operates five B737-400(F)s on behalf of the logistics giant.