Skywest has made a decision over its future fleet – and that fleet is to be based on the Embraer E-Jets – specifically, the E-175.
Skywest has secured orders for at least 40 aircraft which will be painted up and operated for United Express under a capacity-purchase agreement with United Airlines. This order is separate from the United order for 30 E-175’s made at the end of April
In terms of configuration, these will be 76 seater aircraft – like the ones ordered by United, so it would safe to assume the following configuration:
- 12 United First seats
- 16 Economy Plus seats
- 48 United Economy seats.
Deliveries of aircraft to Skywest between 2nd Quarter of 2014 to the end of 2015.
The extras that go along with this order are of interest. The first 60 are “Reconfirm-able aircraft” which Skywest can order subject to the airline winning more Capacity Purchase Agreements from United or other airlines who require E-175 airlift power.
So, if the current order is fully confirmed, that will be 100 aircraft in total. On top of that Skywest has put options in the order for another 100 aircraft – which brings the possible value up to 200 aircraft orders.
It’s clear to see as United has given direction over the future of the 50 seater aircraft (ERJ-145 and CRJ-200), Skywest want to be front and centre to replace and increase capacity. Which is convenient as SkyWest and ExpressJet operates a mixed fleet containing
- ERJ-135’s and ERJ-145’s in both ExpressJet and Skywest fleets
- CRJ-200’s in both fleets
- CRJ-100’s in the SkyWest fleet
- The classic EMB-120 Brasillia.
In terms of larger aircraft, SkyWest and ExpressJet operate Bombardier CRJ-700’s and 900’s.
For SkyWest, there is an even bigger expansion coming as it will launch the Mitsubishi Regional Jets in the America’s – taking 100 of the MRJ’s purchases and another 100 as options to purchase.
Anyway you cut this, this is one big fleet replacement that is in the works.