US Airways continues gradual upgauge with SkyWest deal

Washington DC
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US Airways will continue to gradually upgauge its regional fleet with the addition of four 76-seat Bombardier CRJ900s under a revised agreement with SkyWest Airlines.

The aircraft will replace four 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200s currently operated by the regional carrier for US Airways, says the Tempe, Arizona-based carrier.

The move comes barely two months since it disclosed that it would replace nine 50-seat Embraer ERJ-145s operated by Chautauqua Airlines with an equal number of CRJ900s operated by Mesa Airlines.

Including the two deals, US Airways will have 51 CRJ900s and 115 CRJ200s in its regional fleet at the end of the year, based on a 23 April fleet plan.

The SkyWest aircraft will begin flying for US Airways in July.

Andrew Nocella, senior vice-president of marketing and planning at US Airways, told Flightglobal in April that the larger regional jets will likely be based at its Charlotte and Phoenix hubs along with the rest of its CRJ900 fleet.

The move is part of a long-term strategy to reduce 50-seat flying in its regional fleet. US Airways chairman and chief executive Doug Parker said that the issue would correct itself over time, in July 2012.