SkyWest will operate the aircraft under a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA) with United Airlines. Another 60 firm orders are reconfirmable aircraft, which are subject to SkyWest being awarded CPA agreement contracts with major U.S. airline partners. In addition to that, the agreement includes options for another 100 E175s, taking the total order potential up to 200 airplanes.
The firm orders for the first 40 aircraft will be included in Embraer’s 2013 second quarter backlog. This sale is in addition to the contract signed by Embraer with United Airlines for 30 firm and 40 options for E175 jets.
If all 100 firm orders are exercised, the order has an estimated value of USD 4.1 billion at current list prices, representing one of the most significant orders in each company’s histories. SkyWest plans to configure the E175s in a dual-class 76-seat layout, with the delivery of the first aircraft scheduled for the second quarter of 2014.
“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,” said Paulo Cesar Silva, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “I’m confident the technologically advanced E175 will become the company’s flagship, bringing greater efficiency to their operations and a higher standard of comfort to their customers.”
SkyWest, 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 EMB 120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft. Over 40 EMB 120 Brasilias continue to fly in the SkyWest Airlines network, primarily in the western United States. ExpressJet Airlines operates 249 aircraft of the ERJ 145 family and is the largest ERJ operator in the world.
Jerry Atkin, Chairman and CEO of SkyWest, said, “We have enjoyed our partnership with Embraer since the 1980s, and now it is extremely rewarding to be placing this significant order for E175s. We are confident the E-Jet will serve our partners and passengers well, with greater cabin comfort and with the best economics in its class.”
As the leader in the 70 to 120-seat segment, Embraer continues to invest in the E-Jets family, which is flown by some 60 airlines from 40 countries. The Company 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%. 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 E175s are currently in service with 12 carriers around the world. Since the E175 has no over wing exits that can restrict seat placement, operators have more flexibility in configuring the aircraft cabin. In addition, the 2,000 nm (3,706 km) range, short field performance and superior hot and high capability make the E175 ideal for the North American network.