In the early-1990s Mesa Airlines was the largest independently owned regional airline in the USA. It already operated multiple separate divisions (Air Midwest, America West Express, CalPac, FloridaGulf Airlines, Skyway Airlines etc). Mesa had started code-sharing with America West (AWA) at Phoenix in late 1992 bringing its Essential Air Services routes under the AWA Express banner and replacing AWA's unusual mainline DHC-8 flights. As America West prepared to leave bankruptcy protection in 1993 Mesa was one of the four partners in AmWest Partners which controlled over 75% of the airline's stock. As part of the deal to leave bankruptcy it was agreed that Mesa would setup a new airline division to operate F70s and two were ordered in December 1993. They would be the first F70s in the USA and the new airline would be named Desert Sun Airlines...
The Fokker 100 (or F28-0100) was, Dutch manufacturer, Fokker's next generation of its popular and steady, if not spectacular, selling F28 series. The F28 was a fine aircraft well ahead of its time pre-dating true regional jets by nearly thirty years. The type was operated worldwide (especially in Australia, Canada and Europe) but usually in only small numbers. Its maximum seating capacity in the extended 4000 series was 85 and by the 1980s the basic design was in need of renewal. Fokker accomplished this by creating a new wing, replacing the Rolls-Royce Spey engines with new Tays and stretching the fuselage to seat up to 107 passengers.
I'm Richard Stretton: a fan of classic airliners and airlines who enjoys exploring their history through my collection of die-cast airliners. If you enjoy the site please donate whatever you can to help keep it running: