SkyWest redeploys CRJ900s subleased to Air Mekong for US Airways

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US regional carrier SkyWest Airlines will in July begin flying the four Bombardier CRJ900s that it had subleased to now-suspended Vietnamese carrier Air Mekong.

The St. George, Utah-based airline will start flying the four CRJ900s on behalf of US Airways Express, say executives of the airline's parent company SkyWest Inc on an 8 May earnings call. Two aircraft will be placed into service on 1 July, followed by two more on 15 July. The aircraft will be based out of Phoenix, says Mike Kraupp, chief financial officer of SkyWest Inc.

Air Mekong suspended its operations on 28 February, with the intent of re-starting operations with a restructured fleet.

In 2010, SkyWest invested $7 million to acquire a 30% stake in the start-up airline, and invested an additional $3 million in the airline during 2011. It had a $1.7 million balance remaining in the airline at the end of 2012.

SkyWest Inc. is in the process of winding down its investment in Air Mekong, and says it is working with the airline on wrapping up negotiations for deposit and lease payments as well as inventory. The airline expects to finish this process in the second quarter and says the investment could end up having a slightly positive value when considering the value of spare parts.