Utah-based SkyWest Airlines has ordered seven new Embraer 175 aircraft to operate on behalf of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, the regional carrier announced Aug. 7.

The E175s were chosen instead of seven previously announced Bombardier CRJ900s that were to be financed by Delta and scheduled for delivery in 2020.

The order is valued at $340 million and is included in Embraer’s 2019 second-quarter backlog for an undisclosed customer. The seven aircraft have delivery dates scheduled from late 2019 to mid-2020. 

“Having a longtime partner like Embraer, who understands us and our business, has allowed us to enhance our fleet mix and ensure efficiency and agility in our network,” SkyWest president and CEO Chip Childs said in a statement. “The E175 continues to perform very well and is an important part of our growing fleet.”

SkyWest also announced an agreement with Delta to operate six used E175s under a multi-year contract scheduled to begin early next year. The used aircraft are financed by Delta and will be sourced from one of the regional carriers transitioning out of the Delta Connection regional affiliate program.

 “We believe the placement of these aircraft in Western hubs will help us continue to enhance our overall efficiency and product,” Childs said.

The Utah-based carrier said it had canceled its previously announced order for three new E175 aircraft scheduled for service with Alaska Airlines in 2021. Alaska did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Delta’s agreements with SkyWest come as the Atlanta-based carrier is moving to overhaul its Delta Connection regional affiliate program, terminating contracts with Missouri-based GoJet Airlines and Minneapolis-based Compass Airlines. The consolidations will leave Delta with three remaining feeder carriers: SkyWest, Indianapolis-based Republic Airways and Minneapolis-based Endeavor Air.

“On the timing front, the wind-down should be completed in the next 11 months,” a Delta spokesperson said of the Delta Connection transition in an emailed statement. “It’s also important to note that no significant changes in Delta’s overall network and destinations served are planned as a result of the transition, and all customers who have traveled on routes traditionally operated by GoJet and Compass can continue to make travel plans with Delta as they have in the past.”

Delta said it plans to reallocate aircraft operated by Compass and GoJet to its three remaining affiliates, although it remains unclear how the aircraft will be distributed. 

Endeavor, which is wholly owned by Delta, separately announced on Aug. 6 plans to receive 13 Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft from Delta, previously operated by another Delta Connection carrier.

Ben Goldstein, ben.goldstein@aviationweek.com