You might think they’re new, but you may have already flown them. They’re ExpressJet, the Houston-based regional contract carrier for Continental, often branded Continental Express (since they were spun off of Continental back in 2002).
Following in the footsteps of the now-defunct Independence Air (the former contract carrier that lasted 19 months on its own after losing its United Airlines’ contract), they’re starting service on their own, since Continental’s shifted some of their business over to their other contract carrier, Chautauqua Airlines.
Flying forty-four of the familiar 50-seat Embraer jets, they plan to serve 24 smaller regional airports, avoiding airports where the big airlines have hubs. Look for them in smaller cities like Sacramento, Spokane, Boise, El Paso, Raleigh, San Diego, and others.