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Sun, Feb 15, 2004

Growing The Fleet

SkyWest Airlines' Fleet of Regional Jets Gets Bigger

SkyWest Airlines says it's thrilled to welcome a third aircraft type into their modern fleet of regional aircraft, the 70-passenger Bombardier manufactured Canadair Regional Jet 700 (CRJ700). The jet will begin service on Sunday, February 15, between Salt Lake City, Denver, and Wichita, Kansas.

"This is indeed a momentous occasion for SkyWest," said Ron Reber, SkyWest's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "The CRJ700 is one of the most modern and technologically advanced aircraft in the world. The benefits of this, our largest aircraft, are far reaching. It will benefit our partner, by allowing us further service flexibility into additional markets; it will benefit the communities we fly to by increasing capacity; it will benefit our customers by offering an extremely comfortable aircraft. Finally, it will benefit SkyWest by solidifying our place atop the regional airline industry."

SkyWest has orders with Bombardier to take an additional 29 CRJ700s over the next 18 months. All of these aircraft will fly exclusively under the United Express banner for United Airlines.

Regional jets play an increasingly vital role in the future of the airline industry and in its economic recovery. By offering major airlines the appropriate amount of seating capacity for a market's individual needs, they are cost effective for both the airline and the passenger. Passengers will no doubt continue to see more regional jet service linking them to some of the largest airline hubs in the world and beyond.

Designed on the same platform as its sister aircraft, the 50-seat CRJ200, the CRJ700 builds on the 200's success through an improved, more flexible passenger cabin, an added underfloor baggage bin, an even-faster cruise speed, and the propensity for shorter take-offs and slower landings. SkyWest's CRJ700s feature all-leather seating in a comfortable two-by-two configuration; every seat is an aisle or window, with no middle seats. Additionally, four crewmembers operate the CRJ700 in-flight, two pilots and two flight attendants.

Founded in 1972, SkyWest's fleet began with two-passenger and nine-passenger aircraft. They were forever changed in 1979 with the first 19-passenger Fairchild Metroliner. Even more impactful was the addition of the 30-passenger Embraer Brasilia 120 (EMB-120) in 1986, which now offered in-flight amenities for the first time in SkyWest's history. In 1994, SkyWest began jet service flying the CRJ200. Today, SkyWest's fleet consists of a CRJ700, 111 CRJ200s and 74 EMB-20s.

FMI: www.skywest.com

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