US Airways buys back E-190s from Republic

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US Airways has agreed in principle to buy back five Embraer 190s from Republic Airways that it sold to the carrier three years ago.

The Tempe, Arizona-based carrier will receive two aircraft in the fourth quarter and the remainder in early 2013, says Derek Kerr, chief financial officer of US Airways, in an earnings call today. It operates 15 E-190s.

The E-190s will replace smaller aircraft at its regional partners, says Kerr.

The deal will result in the airline having 339 aircraft in its mainline fleet at the end of the year, confirms US Airways. This is up from 337 in guidance released earlier this month.

However, its Express fleet will remain unchanged at 282 aircraft at the end of the year, according to an investor update released today.

Kerr says that US Airways will take over both the planes and their associated financing.

The airline sold a total of 10 E-190s to Indianapolis-based Republic in 2009.