Republic leases small jets from Continental for Midwest operations

Washington DC
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Republic Airways Holdings has concluded a deal with Continental Airlines to lease five 37-seat Embraer ERJ-135s for operation at Republic's newly-acquired subsidiary Midwest Airlines.

Republic closed on its acquisition of Milwaukee-based Midwest on 30 July. Through a fleet revamp nine Midwest Boeing 717s are being replaced with 9-10 Embraer E-190s. In addition Midwest's fleet will comprise 12-13 E-170s and 12 37-50 ERJ-135s/145s.

Previously, Republic CEO Bryan Bedford said the company would source smaller jets from the existing Republic fleet or on short-term leases with a third party lessor.

A Republic spokesman confirmed the leasing deal with Continental, but did not disclose specific details of the transaction.

Through a new air service agreement Continental reached in June 2008 with its long-term partner ExpressJet, Continental withdrew 30 37-seat ERJ-135s from the ExpressJet fleet. At the time Continental said it would attempt to sublease or ground the aircraft.