Going against the trend of airlines recording losses and shrinking their fleets, US regional capacity provider SkyWest Airlines (OO, Salt Lake City) has secured placements for forty-one CRJ700s and posted a quarterly profit.

The airline said that it secured an incremental agreement with American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth) to add a further twenty CRJ700s to its capacity purchase agreement with the airline. SkyWest expects the jets to be delivered to American throughout 2021, increasing the total number of CRJ700s flown by SkyWest for American to 90 by the end of the next year.

SkyWest added that the incremental twenty CRJ700s are aircraft that it currently owns but which are in long-term storage given they are not currently deployed for any other client airlines.

Following the completion of the deliveries to American Airlines, and including aircraft under CPAs with United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) and Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson), SkyWest will have no spare or stored CRJ700s.

"Our dual-class fleet is playing a strong role in the recovery, and our ability to deliver for our partners will remain a key differentiator for us. We continue to invest in our fleet and maintenance programs as part of our long-term strategy to build reliability into our fleet and creating flying opportunities, just like this one we just announced," Chief Executive Chip Childs said during a quarterly earnings call.

The airline has also reached an agreement with United to purchase twenty-one 50-seater CRJ700s - i.e. CRJ550s - and will lease them to another regional operator. The transaction is expected to complete during the fourth quarter of 2021. While SkyWest did not disclose the name of the end operator, the sole operator of CRJ550s is currently GoJet Airlines (G7, St. Louis Lambert Int'l).

SkyWest also outlined a revised delivery schedule for the twenty E175s it is due to buy directly from Embraer and operate on behalf of American Airlines. Initially, the aircraft were scheduled to arrive from late 2020.

"We worked with American to modify the timing of our twenty E175 deliveries. We now expect to receive a handful of these aircraft [five, according to the financial report] during the fourth quarter of 2021, and the rest through the middle of 2022," Chief Commercial Officer Wade Steel said.

The airline recorded a net profit of USD34 million in the third quarter of 2020.