SkyWest, Inc. (SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines) (St. George, Utah) has announced fleet transitions and contract updates designed to improve SkyWest’s overall efficiency and long-term profitability.
Specifically, SkyWest announced that SkyWest Airlines, Inc., its wholly-owned subsidiary, intends to transition to an all-jet fleet by removing all remaining 30-seat Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft from service by summer 2015. The EMB-120 fleet retirement comes, in part, in response to increased costs and additional challenges associated with new FAR117 flight and duty rules, implemented in January 2014.
Separately, SkyWest announced that ExpressJet Airlines, Inc., its wholly-owned subsidiary, has executed an agreement with United Airlines, Inc. to reduce the term of the existing 50-seat ERJ 145 contract between ExpressJet and United from November 2020 to December 2017, subject to certain extension rights by United. ExpressJet Airlines anticipates the reduction in the ERJ 145 operations will improve its overall operational reliability and financial results.
As a result of the decision to remove the EMB-120 aircraft from service by June 2015 and as a result of the reduced term to operate the ERJ 145 aircraft, SkyWest, Inc. anticipates recording pre-tax special charges (primarily non-cash) ranging from $55-70 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.
It is unclear how the grounding and retirement of the Brasilia fleet will affect air service to remote communities.
Top Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. SkyWest Airlines mainly operates its Brasilias under the United Express brand however 13 EMB-120s wear the SkyWest house livery (below). Embraer EMB-120ER brasilia N294SW (msn 120321) arrives in Los Angeles.
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Embraer EMB-120ER Brasilia N217SW (msn 120286) arrives in Las Vegas.