Cases & Deals

Mesa Air Group obtains Eleventh Circuit affirmance of preliminary injunction to stop contract termination

Client(s) Mesa Air Group, Inc.

Beginning in April 2008, Jones Day represented Mesa Air Group, Inc. in a "bet-the-company" case to enjoin Delta Air Lines, Inc. from terminating a critical long-term contract under which Mesa's subsidiary Freedom Airlines, Inc. operated regional jet aircraft for Delta. Less than 48 hours after being retained, Jones Day filed a complaint in federal court in Atlanta seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction requiring Delta to specifically perform the contract. In just six weeks, the parties conducted expedited discovery, exchanged tens of thousands of documents, took more than 20 depositions, and prepared for the preliminary injunction hearing. After a three-day hearing, District Court Judge Clarence Cooper ruled in favor of Mesa and granted the injunction. Delta appealed the judgment, and on July 1, 2009, a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of a preliminary injunction for Mesa Air Group. After obtaining the injunction and prevailing on Delta's appeal to the Eleventh Circuit, Freedom continued to operate regional jets for Delta for more than two years after the original suit was filed. Mesa ultimately resolved the dispute after trial and as part of a global settlement with Delta during Mesa's Chapter 11 reorganization in 2011.

Mesa Air Group, Inc., and Freedom Airlines, Inc. v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., No. 1:08-CV-1334-CEC (N.D. Ga.); 573 F.3d 1124 (11th Cir. 2009)