ST. GEORGE, UT – SkyWest, Inc. announced today that it has reached an agreement with Delta Air Lines to operate an additional 10 CRJ900 regional jet aircraft. The aircraft were previously ordered by Delta and are now being contracted for flying with SkyWest, Inc. wholly owned subsidiary, Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA). ASA is the principal Delta Connection carrier at Delta’s Atlanta hub and currently operates 110 CRJ200s and 39 CRJ700s.
ASA expects certification for the CRJ900 in the spring of 2009, with aircraft deliveries scheduled between February and May 2009. The aircraft will serve as replacements for twenty 50-seat CRJ200s that are scheduled for removal from contract service between April 2010 and August 2010, which is earlier than the existing scheduled termination dates as contained in the Delta Connection Agreement. ASA will evaluate how it will redeploy the CRJ200s based on market conditions at the time of removal from Delta contract operations. Options may include, but are not limited to, subleasing the aircraft and operating certain aircraft in pro-rate operations.
Bradford R. Rich, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said, “This transaction represents a good faith effort by SkyWest, Inc. to help Delta right-size its fleet through the replacement of 50-seat CRJ200s with the larger, more efficient 76-seat CRJ900s. Additionally, we expect the deal to solidify ASA as Delta’s primary regional carrier in Atlanta through the addition of the CRJ900 aircraft to its fleet portfolio.”