SkyWest Airlines announced plans on August 2nd, 2012 to remove from its fleet a total of 66 fifty-seat Bombardier CRJs and add 34 larger CRJ aircraft with seating capacity between 65 and 76 seats under an agreement with Delta Air Lines.
The additional aircraft will be five Bombardier CRJ700s and 29 CRJ900s, all of which SkyWest expects to take possession of by June of 2013. The plan is for the first dual-class aircraft to enter the fleet, and removal of the first CRJ200, to occur during August 2012. Removal of all of the 66 CRJ200s from Delta Connection service is to be completed by December 2015. Of the 66 CRJ100s and CRJ200s in SkyWest’s fleet, Delta financed 41 aircraft, which SkyWest can return at any time. SkyWest financed the remaining 25 aircraft and must find other operators for them either in the Delta Connection system or with a new operator elsewhere.
SkyWest’s current agreement with Delta is scheduled to end in 2022.
Under a new contract, Delta must remove 218 of the 343 fifty-seat regional jets flying for the Delta Connection. With the announcement of the closure of Comair, and the removal of aircraft from the Skywest fleet, 82 of these aircraft have been identified.