SkyWest Airlines to operate 14 CRJ200s as US Airways Express

SkyWest Airlines signed a letter of intent to operate14 Bombardier CRJ200s flying under the US Airways Express banner beginning in 2012. The three-year agreement, subject to relevant approvals, also provides options to upgrade to larger CRJ700 aircraft.

Mike Kraupp, SkyWest’s chief financial officer, said the three-year deal will add more diversity to the St. George-based airline’s customer base, which is dominated by United Continental Holdings and Delta Air Lines. The remaining flying is split between Alaska Airlines and Air Tran Airways.

US Airways “is not the size of Delta and United Continental. Nevertheless, US Airways is a good-sized operator out there. Hopefully, once we get in and start small, [the relationship] will blossom,” Kraupp said.

SkyWest will replace CRJ200 and Dash 8 Express service currently provided to US Airways by Mesa Airlines. SkyWest said it anticipated that the aircraft used on the US services will be “allocated from SkyWest’s existing fleet.” It added that it will be “compensated in similar fashion to … existing capacity purchase agreements with other major codeshare partners.”