New Reno-based air service aha! takes off this month

The company will operate Embraer ERJ145 aircraft, as mocked here, from RNO.

The company will operate Embraer ERJ145 aircraft, as mocked here, from RNO. Courtesy Photo

Atlanta-based ExpressJet Airlines recently announced a company reboot with the launch of aha! — which it describes as an “air-hotel-adventure” leisure brand — that will begin operating out of Reno-Tahoe International Airport this month.

According to a Sept. 29 press release, nonstop flights will begin from RNO starting Oct. 24 to 
Pasco/Tri-Cities, Wash. The following destinations will be added throughout the fall: Bakersfield, Calif., Medford/Ashland, Ore., Eugene/Springfield, Ore., Ontario, Calif., Redmond/Bend, Ore., Eureka/Arcata, Calif., and Fresno/Yosemite, Calif.

Per the release, aha! will serve each community three times a week with 50-seat Embraer ERJ145 jets.

“We are excited to announce aha! and its innovative new air service at RNO,” Shaun Carey, chairman of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, said in a statement. “They are connecting Northern Nevada to new markets from across the west that will bring new visitors to our spectacular region.”

In the coming months, aha! plans to reach more than 20 destinations, from Reno-Tahoe and other hubs in the western U.S., according to the company.

“The Reno-Tahoe region offers travelers a wide range of fun and unique experiences,” Tim Sieber, head of ExpressJet’s aha! business unit, said in a statement. “With the time savings of nonstop flights and packages with great deals at a curated collection of the best hotels and gaming resorts in the region coming soon, we’re giving travelers everything they need to customize their own great, short vacation.”

Established in 1986, ExpressJet Airlines was acquired in 2010 by SkyWest Airlines and merged with Atlantic Southeast Airlines. The company eventually shut down operations last year after losing with United Airlines due to the pandemic.

“As ExpressJet began developing post-COVID flying opportunities that fit our history of serving smaller communities with regional aircraft, we realized that the old adage of ‘getting there is half the fun’ has become ‘just getting there burns up half the vacation’,” ExpressJet CEO Subodh Karnik stated. “With so many under-served communities and the allure of Reno-Tahoe, the aha! brand model practically leapt at us.”

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