SKYWEST AIRLINES is to become a United Express carrier, operating flights from Los Angeles International Airport to destinations in California, as well as Las Vegas and Phoenix, under a marketing agreement with United Airlines. SkyWest is also a Delta Connection carrier, and has signed a new five-year agreement to provide feed to Delta Air Lines' flights at Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

United will transfer some services from Mesa Air Group subsidiary WestAir, which operates as United Express from Los Angeles and San Fransisco. SkyWest will shift 24 of its 50 Embraer EMB-120s from Delta to United services. Mesa Air, which says that five British Aerospace Jetstream 31s and four EMB-120s operated by WestAir will be affected by the switch, disputes United's right to transfer the services to SkyWest and is considering legal action.

While United Express operations make up 42% of Mesa's business, the Los Angeles services affected account for less than 5% of the group's revenues. SkyWest's codeshare agreement with Delta allows it to operate 50-seat Bombardier Canadair Regional Jets, but United Express carriers are barred from operating regional jets.

Source: Flight International