Republic Airways announced that is has reached an agreement with United Airlines to operate 28 Bombardier DHC-8Q-400s, previously operated by Pinnacle Airlines.
The aircraft are currently operated by Pinnacle from their mini-hubs in Newark, Houston and Washington under the United Express banner and color scheme. This agreement would increase Republic fleet of the type to 32 aircraft. It appears that the agreement would come into force during the third quarter of 2012. There are some obstacles to be overcome however as some of the aircraft lessors have not agreed as yet to the proposal. Pinnacle currently plans to end all Q400 flying by November 2012.
Republic Airways is a holding company who’s portfolio includes 32 Shuttle America Embraer 170s and 13 Chautauqua Airlines ERJ-145s. The company plans to add the Q400s on its own Republic Airlines certificate. In addition to the Pinnacle Q400s, four Q400s previously operated by Republic’s Lynx subsidiary will transfer to the Republic Airlines certificate and be re-branded as United Express.