Republic forecasts 1% capacity increase in 2013

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Republic Airways anticipates that capacity will increase by 1% this year, as it adds Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s to its contracted fleet.

The Indianapolis-based regional carrier says that the increase is offset by the sale of three larger Embraer 190s to US Airways as well as an expected significant reduction in utilisation of five E190s that are used for charters, in a recent investor update. The guidance assumes no new capacity purchase agreements in 2013.

Block hours will increase by 9% as it returns idled Embraer ERJ-140/145 aircraft to service.

Republic will add 16 Q400s to its United Express fleet by June for a total 32 aircraft, and have 10 E190s after it completes the sale to US Airways, according to the 31 December update.

Operating revenue is anticipated to be between $1.36 billion and $1.38 billion for the year.

Capacity at Republic-subsidiary Frontier Airlines will fall by 6.5% this year as it removes four aircraft from its fleet and reduces stage lengths, according to the update. Changes to its fleet include the removal of two Airbus A318s - eliminating the type from its fleet - and two Airbus A319s, as well as the addition of two Airbus A320s.

Operating revenue at Frontier is anticipated to be between $1.38 billion and $1.42 billion in 2013.

Republic is in the process of either selling Frontier or spinning it off as a separate company. It hopes to compete this during the first half of this year.