United in deal with SkyWest to run 40 Embraer jets

Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) -- United Airlines has signed a deal that will have SkyWest Airlines run 40 Embraer planes under the United Express brand.

The Embraer 175 is the first regional jet in the United Express fleet. The plane is anticipated to provide more comfort to travelers, with wider seats and aisles and bigger overhead bins.

United Airlines and United Express run an average of 5,446 flights daily to more than 370 airports across six continents.

The 76-seat aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2014 and 2015.

The 40 planes are in addition to the 30 Embraer aircraft that United previously said it was buying that will be run by a United Express carrier.

United Airlines Inc. said Tuesday that as the Embraer planes come on line, it will remove some less efficient aircraft from the fleet.

SkyWest Inc. said that it plans to buy 100 Embraer jets, with the remaining 60 aircraft considered conditional until it enters capacity purchase agreements with major airlines to run the planes.

SkyWest also has options to buy an additional 100 Embraer aircraft. If all 200 planes are ordered, the agreement with Embraer would be valued at $8.3 billion.