Georgia-based capacity provider ExpressJet Airlines (EV, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) has announced its intention to terminate its contract with Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson).

In a statement outlining its longterm strategy, the SkyWest Airlines (USA) (OO, Salt Lake City) unit said it had reached a mutual agreement with Delta to begin winding-down its remaining dual-class flying agreement under the Delta Connection brand. The agreement, which includes twenty-eight CRJ-900s and thirty-three CRJ-700s, was previously scheduled to expire in 2019. As such, the aircraft financed by Delta, including all twenty-eight CRJ900s, will be returned to Delta with effect from the last quarter of this year.

With the end of its Delta contract, ExpressJet expects to transition other aircraft previously operated under the agreement to other major partners throughout 2018.

Concerning its other major clients, ExpressJet said it has secured a five-year extension on its contract to operate ERJ-145s for United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) under the United Express banner. The extension will run from January 1, 2018 through to December 31, 2022, and will provide ExpressJet pilots with continued access to United's Career Pathway Program. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Concerning American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth), ExpressJet said it had reached an agreement with the carrier to transition eight additional CRJ-700s to its American Eagle operation. That transition is expected to take place during second quarter 2018.

"This announcement provides structural strength, visibility and positive momentum to ExpressJet Airlines," Chip Childs, Chief Executive Officer of SkyWest, Inc., said. "Our objective to provide a strong and successful foundation for the people of ExpressJet is central to our strategy. The execution of these new agreements is essential to finally getting ExpressJet to long-term success and profitability."

ExpressJet operates 228 aircraft under the American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express banners respectively serving more than 164 airports in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico.