SkyWest to sell ExpressJet Airlines to United Airlines joint venture

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SkyWest has entered into agreements to sell ExpressJet Airlines to United Airlines joint venture ManaAir for about $70 million in cash.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2019, subject to closing conditions. The deal includes the majority of the assets and the assumption of liabilities of ExpressJet, subject to a working capital adjustment.

The ExpressJet assets excluded from the transaction will be utilised or liquidated by SkyWest. The expected realisable value to SkyWest of the remaining inventory is estimated to approximate the value of the working capital adjustment. SkyWest will retain ownership of the CRJ aircraft currently in service at ExpressJet.

The transaction also includes certain protections around existing SkyWest Airlines flying, as well as priority position to add 25 new dual-cabin aircraft with United should those opportunities arise.

As part of the transaction, SkyWest has also agreed to lease 20 CRJ200s to ExpressJet for up to five years.

Based in Atlanta, ExpressJet operates regional aircraft services for United and American Airlines with a fleet of 128 aircraft, including Embraer ERJ-145s, Bombardier CRJ700s, CRJ200s and one CRJ100.

“Today’s announcement provides further clarity and focus for the future,” said SkyWest president and chief executive officer, Chip Childs. “We want to thank the employees of ExpressJet for their valued contributions and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership with United.”

SkyWest is the holding company for two scheduled passenger airline operations and an aircraft leasing company. SkyWest’s airline companies provide commercial air service in cities throughout North America with more than 2,500 daily flights carrying approximately 50 million passengers annually.

SkyWest Airlines operates through partnerships with United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. ExpressJet Airlines operates through partnerships with United and American.