Fuel costs, part shortages prompt Embraer jet rebalancing at Republic Airways

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Republic Airways Holdings has decided to shift six more Embraer 170s out of its branded operations and remove three ERJ-135s as it rebalances its fleet to account for rising fuel prices.

Separately, the Indianapolis-based carrier also said deliveries of six Embraer 190s on firm order will be delayed to the first quarter of 2012 due to parts shortages in Japan, which is still recovering from a March earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

The six E-170s will be moved out of Fronter's network under a capacity purchase agreement with Delta Air Lines, Republic said.

All six dual-class airliners will be placed into Delta Connection service between July and October for a six-year term.

The shift follows a similar move in February involving eight E-170s that were also moved from Republic's branded operations to serve Delta Connection routes.

"In light of current oil prices we will continue to focus on developing Frontier's most successful and profitable routes while managing capacity at responsible levels," said Bryan Bedford, chairman, president and CEO of Republic Airways.

After all 14 E-170s are removed from branded operations, Republic will operate a total of 54 aircraft in Delta's network, including 16 E-175s and 24 ERJ-145s.