SkyWest Airlines secures E175 leveraged lease financing

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Utah-based SkyWest Airlines has returned to the US leveraged lease market to finance its new Embraer 175 fleet, sources indicate.

The regional carrier has secured financing for the first batch of 20 Embraer 175 deliveries and has found equity investors, with 10 aircraft covered by MetLife and 10 by another US corporation.

Debt is provided by Brazilian development bank BNDES using the new Aircraft Sector Understanding (ASU) terms.

The first delivery closed at the end of March. At 7 June, SkyWest had received a total of seven E175s. It expects to take delivery of another 17 units this year.

SkyWest operates the 76-seat E175s for United Airlines, in two-class configuration.

The aircraft entered service between Chicago O’Hare and Washington National airport last month.

SkyWest is to take delivery of a total of 40 E175s and has a conditional order for another 60 aircraft, subject to the airline securing contracts to operate them.

In 2005, the carrier entered into a third-party long-term leveraged lease facility for 42 regional jets: 32 Bombardier CRJ 700s and 10 CRJ 200s.

SkyWest was not available for comment.