SkyWest, Inc. has placed a firm order for 40 Embraer 175 aircraft, which one or both of its subsidiary regional carriers will operate for the United Express network under a capacity purchase agreement (CPA) with United Airlines.
The order is in addition to the contract signed on April 29 by United Airlines for 30 firm Embraer 175s and another 40 optioned aircraft.
Additionally, SkyWest has agreed a reconfirmable order for another 60 Embraer 175s, the order being subject to SkyWest being awarded CPA contracts with other major U.S. airline partners.
In addition to the orders for 100 Embraer 175s, SkyWest has also taken options on another 100, taking its total potential order up to 200 aircraft.
If SkyWest confirmed its reconfirmable order and exercised all its options, the order would be the biggest ever for the Embraer E-Jets family.
The firm orders for the first 40 aircraft will be included in Embraer’s 2013 second-quarter order backlog.
Embraer says that if SkyWest takes all 100 Embraer 175s in its firm and reconfirmable orders, the deal will have an estimated value of $4.1 billion at current list prices, representing one of the most significant orders in each company’s history.
SkyWest plans to configure its Embraer 175 jets in a dual-class 76-seat layout. Delivery of its first aircraft is scheduled for the second quarter of 2014 and deliveries of the 40 Embraer 175s for SkyWest’s United Express operation are due to be completed in 2015 and United says some will replace older aircraft in its fleet; these are likely to be ERJ-145-family or Bombardier CRJ200 50-seat regional jets.
“This is truly a milestone order for Embraer. As our largest Brasilia and ERJ operator, SkyWest has now selected the enhanced E-Jet for their fleet, validating their confidence in Embraer and recognizing the tremendous capabilities of the E175 as the best aircraft in its class,” says Paulo Cesar Silva, president & CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation.
SkyWest, Inc., which is based in the U.S. state of Utah, is the largest regional airline group in the world and is the parent company of SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines.
Both airlines have long histories with Embraer and were early customers for the Embraer EMB120 Brasilia turboprop regional airliner. More than 40 EMB120 Brasilias continue to fly in the SkyWest Airlines network, primarily in the western United States.
ExpressJet Airlines operates 249 aircraft of the Embraer ERJ-145 family and is the largest ERJ operator in the world.
Embraer has begun implementing a series of enhancements to the E175, including new wingtips, systems optimization and aerodynamic refinements that will lower fuel burn by up to 5 per cent. Longer maintenance intervals and component improvements will increase aircraft productivity and lower maintenance costs. All the SkyWest deliveries will include these enhancements.
More than 150 Embraer 175 jets are currently in service with 12 carriers around the world and in the past month Embraer has won orders from U.S. airlines for up to 364 of the type.
Since the Embraer 175 has no over-wing exits that can restrict seat placement, operators have more flexibility in configuring the aircraft cabin, according to Embraer.
In addition, says the manufacturer, the Embraer 175’s 2,000-nautical-mile (3,706-kilometer) range, short field performance and good hot-and-high capability make the type ideal for the North American network.
The E-Jets family is flown by some 60 airlines from 40 countries.