Jazz to become the sole Express operator for Air Canada

Air Canada today announced an agreement to amend the Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) with Jazz Aviation LP, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chorus Aviation Inc., under which Jazz currently operates certain regional Air Canada Express flights.

Through the revised agreement, Air Canada will transfer operation of its Embraer E175 fleet to Jazz from Sky Regional and Jazz will become the sole operator of Air Canada Express services. The revisions to the CPA are subject to Jazz reaching an agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association, International. If this condition is satisfied, the CPA will be amended on a retroactive basis to January 1, 2021.

“Air Canada is consolidating its regional flying with Jazz in response to the ongoing devastating impact of COVID-19 upon the airline industry. This necessary realignment of our regional services will help Air Canada achieve efficiencies and reduce operating costs and cash burn by consolidating its regional operations with one provider. Moreover, by streamlining the regional fleet, this agreement will also position Air Canada to operate more competitively with a single provider as traffic returns following the pandemic,” said Richard Steer, Senior Vice President, Operations and Express Carriers.

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“Sky Regional has provided excellent service to Air Canada and its passengers over the past decade with an impeccable safety record and excellent on time performance and cost management. We thank Sky and all of its employees for their effort, dedication and valued partnership,” said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada.

Sky Regional Fleet is currently comprised of 25 Embraer 175 aircraft.

Sky Regional Airlines Inc. is a Canadian company that operates regional routes on behalf of Air Canada under the Air Canada Express banner. On May 1st in 2011, Sky Regional operated its first commercial flight and went on to service markets such as Toronto City Centre, Montreal, Ottawa, Moncton and Quebec City with a fleet of Bombardier Q400.

In 2013, the airline expanded, adding 15 Embraer E175 series aircraft serving the Northeastern United States, flying in excess of 100 flights per day into cities including Boston, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Washington, Dallas, and Chicago. In 2016, Sky Regional Airlines expanded its fleet with an additional five E175 aircraft serving such markets as Jacksonville, Houston, Denver and Atlanta.

While early in 2017 the airline saw the departure of the Q400’s, an additional five E175 were added to the fleet. Sky Regional’s entire fleet is now comprised of twenty-five Embraer E175 series aircraft.

Sky Regional routes:

As a result of the CPA revisions and consolidation of regional flying, Air Canada expects to realize $400 million in cost reductions over the 15-year term of the agreement ($43 million per year until 2026 and $18 million per year thereafter). This includes:

  • Increasing near term-cost certainty as a result of the combined fleet under a single operator;
  • Reducing Air Canada’s overall regional flying compensation;
  • Creating related operational costs savings;

In addition, the revised CPA will lower future contractual capital expenditure and leasing costs through a restructured CPA fleet, avoiding an estimated $193 million in future capital expenditures.

Sky Regional Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

Sky Regional Airlines aircraft slide show: