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In a teleconference in early August, Delta President Ed Bastian indicated the airline would be stepping up its exodus, with most 50-seaters operating under the Delta Connection banner expected to be history in a couple of years. "This contract with America will be of benefit to (both) Delta and ourselves," Kraupp said.
Under the new contract, SkyWest expects to be flying its planes for American primarily out of Los Angeles International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. It anticipates that 12 of the aircraft will be flown by SkyWest Airlines and 11 by its ExpressJet Airlines subsidiary.
American isn’t the only airline to sign on as a SkyWest client in the past year.
In November, US Airways inked a three-year deal that called for SkyWest to provide daily flights to five cities from U.S. Airways’ hub in Phoenix. At that time, Kraupp said SkyWest was viewing that contract as "an entry point with US Airways and hope for it to grow in the future."
Today, with U.S. Airways and American sharing confidential data in what some are looking upon as a the prelude to a merger, SkyWest could find itself serving both parties in what could be a key combination in the airline industry. "If they were to merge — and I under stand that it is still a big ‘if’ — we could be in a good position because they both look upon SkyWest favorably," Kraupp said.
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