SkyWest has signed a multi-year contract with United Airlines to operate 25 Embraer E175 aircraft. The new agreement will see the planes scheduled into service from the second quarter of 2020 through the first quarter of next year.
According to a SkyWest press release, the regional airline will have these E175s financed by United. Additionally, they will be sourced from a fellow United Express operator.
Altogether, eight carriers operate flights for United’s regional branch. However, this deal makes SkyWest the largest operator of United’s E175s.
The Utah-based company also operates on behalf of other major airlines throughout the United States. Household names such as Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines all partner with the company. These new additions will join the firm’s expanding fleet of short-haul aircraft.
SkyWest serves 40 million passengers to over 250 destinations with up to 2,600 daily flights. These are helped by 176 of its E175s. It also holds 210 CRJ100s, 103 CRJ700s, and 43 CRJ900s.
Just last month, the carrier also ordered 20 additional Embraer E175s in a deal worth almost $1bn. However, it will operate these planes on on behalf of American Airlines’ regional brand American Eagle once they are delivered in 2020.
SkyWest CEO and president Chip Childs spoke of his delight of building his airline’s agreement with United over the E175 jets. He feels that the agreement will take the two firms’ partnership to greater strengths.
“As their initial E175 launch partner, we are excited to become United’s largest E175 operator and the largest operator of the E175 aircraft in the United States. We are pleased to continue strengthening our United partnership through this new agreement,” Childs said, as per the release.
United is seeing the value in strengthening the fleet of its regional operations. At the end of last year, the Chicago-based carrier’s other local partner Mesa Airlines shared that it will add 20 Embraer E175 LL to its operations, which will be also used on United Express routes.
The aircraft’s size often makes it the chosen plane to operate regional flights and help connect many of the US’ smaller and midsize hubs. However, United recognizes the importance of diversifying its fleet.
The airline recently introduced its CRJ550 aircraft on several regional operations to help offer a premium experience for business travelers flying from underserved airports.
Ultimately, this agreement with SkyWest further highlights United’s ever-expanding presence both domestically and intentionally.
Simple Flying reached out to SkyWest for comment on the deal for the E175 aircraft. A spokesperson shared that the airline is yet to confirm which United Express routes the jets will serve.
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