ExpressJet Holdings' final agreement with United Airlines for ExpressJet Airlines to operate Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets on United Express service has added 10 aircraft...

ExpressJet Holdings’ final agreement with United Airlines for ExpressJet Airlines to operate Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets on United Express service has added 10 aircraft to the 22 ERJ-145s that United originally agreed with ExpressJet on November 16, 2009.

This final agreement finalizes the previously announced successful bid by ExpressJet to replace flying done by other United Express partner carriers whose contracts expired. ExpressJet began flying United Express services in December 2009.

The additional 10 ERJ-145s that ExpressJet will operate for United will come from the company’s Corporate Aviation charter fleet and will begin operating for United Express on May 1.

ExpressJet ended January 2010 with 10 aircraft in operation for United Express. ExpressJet expects to have added another six ERJ-145s to its United Express operation by the end of February and six more by the end of March, to reach the 22-aircraft fleet originally contemplated under the agreement.

ExpressJet has a fleet of 246 Embraer ERJ-145s and longer-range ERJ-145XRs. The company operates 214 of the jets for Continental Airlines under the Continental Express brand, and from May 2010 is operating 32 as a United Express franchisee. ExpressJet has made ERJ-145s available for corporate charters, offering some of the aircraft in a 41-seat configuration rather than the 50-seat seat airline configuration it operates for Continental Express and United Express, but from May 1, 2010 these aircraft will be operating for United Express for at least the summer season

The United Express agreement between United and ExpressJet has an initial term of three years (expiring April 30, 2013) for 11 aircraft and two years (expiring April 30, 2012) for the remaining 11 aircraft. It will have a renewal option, at United’s election, for additional periods up to a total term of five years.

From May 2010 through December 2010, ExpressJet will fly up to 10 additional aircraft for United Express in the current ExpressJet livery. United will have the option to renew the operation of these aircraft for up to four additional periods of not less than 30 days per renewal period, according to ExpressJet.

United must notify ExpressJet of its intention to renew for the initial renewal period no later than June 15 for the first six supplemental aircraft and August 15 for the remaining four additional aircraft. ExpressJet says that, in an effort to provide United with increased flexibility, the amendment to the agreement allows United to extend the renewal deadline for each aircraft upon certain terms and conditions.

If the renewal option is not exercised, the additional 10 aircraft will be removed from service and returned to ExpressJet’s Corporate Aviation charter operation. Three of the 10 aircraft would leave United Express service on October 15 and return to ExpressJet’s own service; three more would follow on November 15; and the remaining four would leave United Express service on December 15.

Were United not to exercise its renewal option on the 10 additional ERJ-145s, ExpressJet would be operating only the 22 originally planned-for ERJ-145s for United Express by December 15.