Skywest Airlines announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell ExpressJet Airlines to a United Airlines joint venture called ManaAir. United Airlines has minority ownership interest in ManaAir. The purchase of ExpressJet is expected to be completed in 2019.
The majority owner of ManaAir is KAir Enterprises. United describes KAir as “an airline investment company founded by seasoned airline managers.” More information about KAir Enterprises will be shared after they receive approvals from the US Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration.
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Skywest will be paid $70 million in cash for the majority of the assets and the assumption of liabilities of ExpressJet. The agreement includes protections around Skywest flying as well as priority consideration to add 25 new dual-cabin aircraft to the Skywest fleet on behalf of United should the opportunity arise.
As part of the agreement, Skywest will lease 20 CRJ200s to ExpressJet for up to five years. ExpressJet assets not included in the agreement will either be used by Skywest or liquidated.
“Today’s announcement provides further clarity and focus for the future,” states SkyWest president and chief executive Chip Childs.
The return of partial ownership of ExpressJet marks a return of sorts. ExpressJet was originally a wholly owned subsidiary of Continental Airlines before it was sold in 2002. Skywest purchased ExpressJet in 2010.
ExpressJet Already Consolidating to United Airlines Flying
ExpressJet was already moving towards flying exclusively for United Airlines prior to the sell announcement. American Airlines had previously announced that they would not renew their capacity purchase agreement with ExpressJet as American Airlines is working to consolidate and streamline their regional airline operations.
ExpressJet also ended their operations for Delta Air Lines in late 2017. ExpressJet had struggled with delays and cancellations. Delta Air Lines terminated their agreement with ExpressJet in an effort to improve their operational performance.
ExpressJet Pilot Jobs
Even with future operations up in the air ExpressJet is still advertising open pilot positions. Minimum qualifications to apply include:
- Minimum of high school diploma or GED equivalent
- Valid passport
- Commercial pilot certificate with multiengine and instrument ratings
- Flight time requirements listed in 14 CFR Part 61.159 / 61.160 – 1500 total time (1250, 1000, 750 rATP)
- 25 hours flight time in multiengine airplanes
- First Class Medical Certificate
- Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit
- Preferred that pilot candidates have a bachelor’s degree
- Prefer at least 100 hours of flight time within preceding 12 months
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