According to Reuters, United Continental Holdings, Inc. (United Airlines) is considering acquiring an ownership stake in ExpressJet Airlines in order to improve its supply of pilots. Negotiations are reportedly continuing with owner SkyWest. United does not own a regional carrier outright, unlike its competitors.
ExpressJet operates as an United Express carrier. However it also operates for American and is winding down its relationship with Delta.
Previously on August 9, 2017, ExpressJet Airlines, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc., announced the initiation of its defined long-term strategy:
- Long-term agreement secured with United Airlines. As part of this plan, ExpressJet has secured a new, five-year extension of its United Airlines ERJ 145 contract, effective January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2022. The agreement enhances ExpressJet’s United partnership and provides long-term stability to its model. It also provides ExpressJet pilots with continued access to United’s Career Pathway Program. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
- Early termination of Delta CPA. Additionally, ExpressJet and Delta Air Lines mutually agreed to initiate the wind-down of its remaining dual-class flying agreement under the Delta Connection brand, allowing ExpressJet opportunities to place aircraft with other partners. The agreement, which includes 28 CRJ900s and 33 CRJ700s, was previously scheduled to expire beginning in 2019. The aircraft financed by Delta, including all CRJ900s, will be returned to Delta beginning in fourth quarter 2017; ExpressJet expects to transition other aircraft previously operated under its Delta agreement to other major partners throughout 2018.
- Agreement with American for eight additional CRJ700s. As part of this realignment, ExpressJet has secured an agreement with American Airlines to transition eight additional CRJ700s to its American Eagle operation. That transition is expected to take place during second quarter 2018.
Copyright Photo: United Express-ExpressJet Airlines Embraer ERJ 145LR (EMB-145LR) N36915 (msn 145421) LGA (Ken Petersen). Image: 924301.