Midwest Regional Grounded

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RegionsAir, which operates regional flights for Continental Airlines to Cleveland and American Airlines to St. Louis, has suspended operations to resolve issues with its training policies. The company was shut down for two days last week and resumed service last Monday before being shut down again on Thursday. In a news release quoted by the Marietta, Ohio, Times, RegionsAir said all planes and pilots were recalled to its home base in Smyrna, Tenn. "We have been in discussions with the FAA today and will honor the requests outlined in the Consent Order with the intentions of satisfying any [and] all requested modifications to our Line Check Airman training [and] Certification program," Nathan Vallier, director of sales and marketing, said in the release. The nature of the modifications wasnít discussed. RegionsAir also didnít say how long it might be grounded but a news release from American Airlines said flights are cancelled through March 31. RegionsAir flies to nine cities from St. Louis and three from Cleveland using 19-seat Jetstream 32 turboprops. In some cities it provides the only airline service. American and Continental are now scrambling to find alternatives for customers who have booked. Springfield, Ill., airport officials say theyíre looking for an alternative service to St. Louis because of the recent troubles. RegionsAirís days may have been numbered at Cape Girardeau, Mo., regardless of the shutdowns. The local airport authority voted last week to ask the Department of Transportation to allow Big Sky Airlines to operate service to Cincinnati as an alternative to the St. Louis connection. The board noted that 8 percent of RegionsAirís flights had been cancelled in the previous year.