US regional carrier SkyWest Airlines is working with Bombardier to address costly airframe maintenance issues that will affect its oldest Bombardier CRJ200s.

SkyWest operates 154 CRJ200s, Flightglobal's Ascend database shows. The airline's manager of network planning Brad Rawson says that airframe maintenance on the CRJ200s becomes significantly more expensive after the aircraft exceeds 40,000 cycles, at the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit in Dallas today.

The airline's first two CRJ200s are due to hit 40,000 cycles around the end of 2012, says Rawson. "The maintenance elements no longer line up nicely [after 40,000 cycles]," he adds. For example, parts that were usually looked at during C-checks would have to be looked at before the scheduled checks, says Rawson.

SkyWest plans to hand over the two CRJ200s to Bombardier at end of 2012 or in early 2013 so that the airframer can work on a solution to address the issue, he adds.

"We are trying to send those to the desert unless Bombardier can come up with something affordable financially," says Rawson.

Flightglobal's Ascend database shows that SkyWest has two CRJ200s that are above 38,000 cycles. Both were built in 1993.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news