The first large U.S. airline bankruptcy since American Airlines filed in 2011 comes at a time when major carriers have been reporting record profits for at least two years.

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Short-haul carrier Republic Airways Holdings filed for creditor protection in New York on Thursday. 

The first large U.S. airline bankruptcy since American Airlines filed in 2011 comes at a time when major carriers have been reporting record profits for at least two years.

Indianapolis-based Republic operates a fleet of under-80-seat planes, which provide flights for larger airlines including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United. It had been working on renegotiating contracts with the bigger carriers after its pilots approved a new three-year contract. The carrier warned even after gaining the labor agreement that its future wasn’t secure.

“Republic has serious challenges that we must still address and several quarters of recovery and rebuilding before us,” Chief Executive Bryan Bedford said on a November conference call.

The company offers regional passenger service with more than 1,200 flights daily to more than 100 cities in 39 states as far west at Utah and Canada. 

Republic reported 19 percent drops in its block hours, seen as a proxy for revenue, in December and January. It listed $2.97 billion in liabilities and $3.56 billion in assets in Chapter 11 papers in Manhattan federal court.