SkyWest Airlines, owned by SkyWest Inc. of St. George, UT, USA, took delivery of the first of a firm order of 40 E175s at a ceremony in São José dos Campos on March 28. SkyWest will fly the E175s on behalf of United Airlines under its United Express brand.
Each aircraft features a three-zone seating arrangement – 12 United First seats, 16 Economy Plus seats and 48 Economy seats – a multi-pitch layout that is also in United’s mainline fleet.
SkyWest’s relationship with Embraer dates back to 1986 when the airline ordered the first of many EMB120 turboprops. Today, more than 40 EMB120s are still in service with the carrier and are linking communities throughout the western USA.
Mr. Russell (Chip) Childs, SkyWest’s President and Chief Operating Officer, cut a ceremonial red ribbon with Mr. Luis Carlos Affonso, Embraer’s Chief Operating Officer, to officially mark the delivery. Also on hand was long-service employee Mr. Klen Brooks, VP of Operations for SkyWest, who was part of the airline’s original acceptance team for the first EMB120 in 1987.
At the ceremony, Embraer recognized the long history between the companies and SkyWest’s transition from Embraer turboprops to large jets. A gift of framed photographs of the first EMB120 and the E175 were presented to Mr. Childs. Each photographed carried the inscription “One great airplane … leads to another.”
SkyWest is also the launch customer for the E175-E2. It ordered 100 of the next-generation E-Jets with options for 100 additional airplanes. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2020.