Mesa Airlines (YV, Phoenix Sky Harbor) has said in a stock market disclosure that it agreed with United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) to transfer the financing burden of the planned acquisition of twenty ERJ 170-200LLs due to be operated by the regional capacity provider.

"Following recent discussions with United, [Mesa Airlines] has agreed that United will purchase the twenty E175LL in lieu of the company and will lease such aircraft to the company under terms to be agreed upon. The company expects to memorialize this new arrangement with United in a further amendment to the United Capacity Purchase Agreement," the airline said.

Under the original terms of the CPA agreed on in November 2019, Mesa Airlines planned to buy the twenty Embraer aircraft itself and operate them for 12 years under the United Express regional brand.

Following a COVID-induced delay, the first five E175LLs financed by United Airlines were delivered to Mesa in early October 2020 but have yet to be deployed into service. Four of them are parked at Houston Intc'l airport and one at Phoenix Sky Harbor, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows. Under the original schedule, the deliveries of the twenty were due to start in May and finish by the end of 2020.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Mesa Airlines operates sixty ERJ 170-200LRs (including 42 owned by United) and twenty CRJ700 Srs 701ERs on behalf of United. The CRJs will be replaced by the E175LLs.