Utah-based regional carrier SkyWest Airlines boosted its net income in the 2019 second-quarter, aided by its ongoing fleet transition initiatives and the divestiture of ExpressJet Airlines in January 2019.

The company recorded 2Q net income of $88 million, up 13% from $76 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue totaled $744 million, down 7.6% from $806 million in 2Q 2018, and related to the sale of ExpressJet in January.

Excluding ExpressJet revenue in 2Q 2018, SkyWest’s 2Q 2019 revenue increased by $82 million, mainly because of the addition of 36 new aircraft since the year-ago quarter.

Excluding ExpressJet, the company’s second-quarter operating expenses increased $70 million, because of the additional aircraft and higher labor costs. Block hours rose 7.7% to 370,800 hours.

“The January closing of the ExpressJet sale, combined with these latest fleet announcements, reduces our overall enterprise risk and will help us drive a healthy balance of earnings growth and cash flow generation,” SkyWest president and CEO Chip Childs said. “We remain very focused on sustainable opportunities that position us for long-term success.”

SkyWest received three new Bombardier CRJ900s and four new Embraer E175s during Q2 2019, with plans to take delivery of four more E175s and nine more CRJ900s through the end of 2020. The carrier currently has 501 aircraft in its total fleet, comprised entirely of E170 and CRJ family aircraft, with orders in place for 100 MRJ aircraft and options for an additional 100 MRJs, Aviation Week’s Fleet Data Services shows.

SkyWest has added 25 Embraer E175 and 11 CRJ900 aircraft since 2Q 2018, while reducing ownership costs through early lease buyouts of 52 aircraft in the 2019 first quarter.

During the company’s Q2 earnings call, Childs announced a new long-term agreement to provide 10 additional CRJ700 to American Airlines, bringing SkyWest’s total to 70 CRJ700s under long-term agreements with American.

The company delivered the first of five CRJ900s leased by Air Canada under a six-year agreement with plans to deliver the remaining four aircraft during the third quarter.

SkyWest also entered into an agreement to lease 40 GE CF34-3 engines to Delta Air Lines with an expected five-year term, in addition to the 13 GE CF34-8 engines already under lease with Delta.

Ben Goldstein, ben.goldstein@aviationweek.com