US regional airline Republic Airlines has signed for an additional 13 Embraer 170s after securing a new feeder deal with Frontier Airlines out of Denver.

The Indianapolis-based carrier will operate 17 of the 76-seaters for Frontier, and confirms that it "will be firming up [13] additional aircraft with Embraer". It will also assign a further four E-170s that are currently in its fleet, but have not been previously allocated to a codeshare partner.

The airline's first E-170 for Frontier will enter service in March with the last to be introduced in December 2008. Embraer says that the new orders were on option from Republic's initial order.

Republic - a division of Republic Airways Holdings, which has feeder deals with most of the US majors - has an 11-year feeder deal with Frontier, replacing incumbent regional jet operator Horizon Air.

The latter has operated as Frontier JetExpress but its agreement to operate nine 70-seat Bombardier CRJ700s will expire with the return of its last aircraft in December. The first two of Horizon's aircraft are to be returned this month.

Source: Flight International