US Airways enters short-term leases on E-190s sold to Republic

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Republic Airways Holdings has agreed to lease eight of 10 Embraer E-190s it purchased from US Airways last year back to the major carrier to ensure a smooth transition out of the legacy airline's network.

Phoenix-based US Airways in July of 2009 disclosed it was examining options for its fleet of 25 E-190s, and in November announced the sale of 10 aircraft to its regional partner, Republic Airways Holdings, who last year purchased Frontier and Midwest Airlines.

In an investor update published today US Airways explained it is leasing back the eight aircraft for a period of one to seven months.

A carrier spokesman explains this is an interim measure to support the US Airways network until its summer 2010 schedule is finalised.

US Airways also says it continues to evaluate other options for the remaining 15 E-190s.

At the time US Airways announced its decision to dispose of the E-190s, the carrier explained those aircraft represent a small sub-fleet for the airline, and shedding them would create operational gains and additional flexibility for the carrier to reduce capacity.

Republic is using the E-190s to replace Boeing 717s previously in operation at Midwest. The carrier operated the last 717 flight in November 2009.