SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW) ("SkyWest") today announced an agreement with Delta Air Lines ("Delta") to operate six used E175 aircraft under a multi-year contract scheduled to begin in early 2020. The aircraft are financed by Delta and to be sourced from a regional operator transitioning out of Delta Connection.
SkyWest has also agreed to purchase and operate seven new E175 aircraft for Delta instead of SkyWest operating seven new CRJ900 aircraft that were to be financed by Delta and scheduled for delivery in 2020. The seven E175 aircraft have delivery dates scheduled from late 2019 to mid-2020.
Under Delta's initiative to reduce the number of Delta Connection operators, SkyWest anticipates becoming one of just three carriers under the Delta Connection portfolio and Delta's primary regional operator in several western U.S cities by mid-2020, including Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Seattle.
Commenting on the agreements, Chip Childs, Chief Executive Officer and President of SkyWest, said, "We are pleased to further strengthen our Delta partnership with the addition of these dual-class aircraft. We believe the placement of these aircraft in Western hubs will help us continue to enhance our overall efficiency and product."
Separately, SkyWest cancelled its previously announced order for three new E175 aircraft scheduled for service with Alaska Airlines in 2021.