Mesa Air Group to hire hundreds

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- Hundreds of new airline jobs are landing in the Valley, from pilots to customer service agents. Mesa Air is now expanding its role as a carrier for United Airlines.

Mesa Air Group fell on hard times in 2010, declaring bankruptcy.  When the company emerged as a private company a year later, it had less than half of its fleet of aircraft and 26 percent fewer employees.

But now with an extended and expanded deal with Chicago based United Airlines, Mesa Air Group hopes to be flying into financially bluer skies.

"This is a really big deal." say Mesa Air Group's CEO and Chairman Jonathan Ornstein. "It's our first really big growth with United in awhile."

The deal calls for the addition of at least 30 Brazilian-made Embraer aircraft to Mesa Air Group, as it expands its service as operators of United Express, a regional carrier. Mesa also serves as a regional carrier for U.S. Airways Express and Go Airlines, which serves Hawaii.

The new contract with United means Mesa Air Group will need to hire approximately 350 pilots, 300 flight attendants and 200 maintenance and other personnel.