Republic Airways Holdings is nearing a decision on whether to acquire Trans States Holdings, parent of fellow American regional specialist Trans States Airlines (AX, St. Louis Lambert Int'l), The Air Current has reported.

Sources familiar with developments said a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had already been signed with a formal announcement expected later this month. Neither party chose to comment.

Both airline holdings oversee regional production carriers which operate for mainline US airlines.

Republic Airlines (YX, Indianapolis Int'l) operates a fleet of 189 Embraer regional jets, including 129 E175s and sixty E170 in various variants. The carrier operates American Eagle services on behalf of American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth), Delta Connection services on behalf of Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson), and United Express services on behalf of United Airlines.

For its part, Trans States Airlines operates a total of fifty-six E145s in LR and XR variants. The airline operates as American Eagle and United Express; it does not have a commercial agreement with Delta.

Trans States Holdings also owns Compass Airlines (United States of America) (CP, Minneapolis/St. Paul), which operates fifty-six EMB-175LRs under the American Eagle and Delta Connection brands. Another subsidiary of the group is GoJet Airlines (G7, St. Louis Lambert Int'l), which operates forty-seven CRJ700ERs and seven CRJ900ERs on behalf of Delta and United.

Trans States Holdings is also the world's second-largest customer for the MRJ90, having placed a firm order for fifty units with a further fifty options back in 2009.