United Airlines partner Mesa Airlines will add 20 Embraer E175 LL aircraft to its fleet. Subsequently, these planes will be operated for United’s regional branch, United Express.
What’s the deal?
According to a press release, the aircraft will be owned and financed by Mesa. They will also be covered under a 12-year capacity purchase agreement. The carrier will also be extending a deal with 42 United-owned E175s for half a decade.
This means that these units that are owned by United are now contracted by Mesa through the end of 2024. There are also rights to extend through 2027.
The chairman and chief executive officer of Mesa Air Group Jonathan Ornstein is excited about the E175 advancements.
“We are pleased to increase the number of Embraer aircraft operating under our partnership with United to 80, making Mesa the largest E175 operator under the United Express banner,” said Ornstein, as per the press release.
He also went on the praise the two parties’ success with the alliance.
“We are delighted that United has chosen to make us its fastest growing and largest operator of its premier regional jet. We would like to thank all of our hard working and dedicated people for making Mesa United’s airline of choice for regional growth.”
The E175 LL aircraft deliveries will feature 70 seats in a three-class configuration. Therefore, the size of the plane makes it a preferred option for United Express. The brand combines Embraer and Bombardier planes to offer regional services across the United States.
Mesa executive vice president and chief operating officer Brad Rich echoed his colleague’s comments about the strength of the partnership. Moreover, he highlights his company’s experience of working with Embraer airliners.
The Arizona-based firm has been working with the Brazilian brand of planes for three decades. In addition, the company works closely with American Airlines on its American Eagle regional services.
“We look forward to strengthening our partnership with United through this new long-term contract,” said Rich.
“Mesa has been flying Embraer aircraft for nearly 30 years and we expect this transition to have a positive impact on our United Express operation.”
Altogether, eight carriers operate these services on behalf of United. Other than Mesa, these airlines include Air Wisconsin, CommutAir, ExpressJet, GoJet Airlines, Republic Airways, SkyWest Airlines, and Trans States Airlines.
Additionally, as part of this deal, Mesa’s existing 20 CRJ-700 fleet will be leased to one of these other carriers. The Points Guy reports that the receiving airline may be GoJet.
Ultimately, these regional services are valued highly by United. The company recently introduced the CRJ-550 into its fleet to enhance the experience for its regional customers. Therefore, it’s no surprise that United is also continuing to expand its fleet for its partner operations serving similar routes. Deliveries for the new E175s will start from next May till the end of 2020.
Deliveries will occur from May through the end of next year.
Simple Flying reached out to Mesa and United for further comment on the E175 expansion. We will update the article with any further comments.
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