Aha!, Fresno-Reno flights are no more. ExpressJet files for Chapter 11.

Aha! is no more.

The parent of the Reno-based ultra-low-cost carrier, ExpressJet Airlines, announced Tuesday it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was ceasing all flight operations, effective immediately.

Atlanta-based ExpressJet cited three reasons for the bankruptcy filing: growth challenges stemming from aircraft availability and airport infrastructure, revenue impacts from COVID-19 and the inability to bundle hotels, and high fuel prices.

“A combination of conditions led us to this decision,” ExpressJet CEO Subodh Karnik said in a statement. “Despite the valiant efforts of our employees to overcome challenges, and despite great support by our cities and airports – especially Reno-Tahoe and the community there, we arrived at a point where termination of operations was in the best interest of our stakeholders.”

Aha! flew to 11 cities from its hub at Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO), including to Fresno-Yosemite International Airport.

It’s somewhat unusual for an airline to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and immediately shut down, as Chapter 11 permits a company to undergo a court-supervised restructuring. Aha!’s announcement speaks of liquidation of assets, which is what a different type of bankruptcy, Chapter 7, facilitates.

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Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.