SkyWest, Inc. Announces Agreement With American Airlines; Adds Major Code Share Partner


ST. GEORGE, Utah, Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- SkyWest, Inc. ("SkyWest") (NASD:SKYW) announced today that it has signed a Capacity Purchase Agreement ("CPA") with American Airlines, Inc. ("American") to operate 23 Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet aircraft under the American Eagle designation.  SkyWest currently anticipates that it will commence its American flights on November 15, 2012, with all 23 aircraft being placed in service prior to end of the first quarter 2013.   SkyWest intends to source the aircraft from its existing fleet where they have previously been operated in behalf of another major partner and anticipates that 12 of the aircraft will be flown by SkyWest Airlines, Inc. ("SkyWest Airlines") and 11 aircraft will be flown by ExpressJet Airlines, Inc. ("ExpressJet Airlines"). SkyWest also anticipates that the American aircraft will be primarily operated out of Los Angeles International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

The CPA, which has a term of four years, provides for SkyWest, through its operating airlines SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines, to be compensated in similar fashion to existing capacity purchase agreements with SkyWest's other major partners.

"This agreement is indicative of the credibility of the people and the operational quality of SkyWest, Inc.," said Bradford R. Rich, President—SkyWest, Inc.  He continued, "We look forward to operating under the American Eagle designation and establishing ourselves as a trusted and valuable long-term partner for American."

SkyWest is the holding company for two scheduled passenger airline operations and an aircraft leasing company and is headquartered in St. George, Utah. SkyWest's scheduled passenger airline operations consist of SkyWest Airlines, also based in St. George, Utah, and ExpressJet Airlines, based in Atlanta, Georgia.  SkyWest Airlines operates as United Express and Delta Connection carriers under contractual agreements with United Airlines, Inc. ("United") and Delta Air Lines, Inc. ("Delta").  SkyWest Airlines also operates as US Airways Express under a contractual agreement with US Airways, Inc., and operates flights for Alaska Airlines under a contractual agreement.  ExpressJet Airlines operates as United Express and Delta Connection carriers under contractual agreements with United and Delta. System-wide, SkyWest serves markets in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean with approximately 4,000 daily departures and a fleet of approximately 725 regional aircraft.  This press release and additional information regarding SkyWest can be accessed at www.skywest.com

In addition to historical information, this release contains forward-looking statements.  SkyWest may, from time to time, make written or oral forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such statements encompass SkyWest's beliefs, expectations, hopes or intentions regarding future events.  Words such as "forecasts," "expects," "intends," "believes," "anticipates," "should," "likely" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements.  All forward-looking statements included in this release are made as of the date hereof and are based on information available to SkyWest as of such date.  SkyWest assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.  Readers should note that many factors could affect the future operating and financial results of SkyWest, SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines, and could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements set forth in this release.  These factors include, but are not limited to, the ability of SkyWest to integrate and operate under the American Airlines CPA, the ability of ExpressJet Airlines to realize potential synergies and other anticipated financial impacts of the consolidation of its operations, the possibility that future financial and operating results of ExpressJet Airlines may not meet SkyWest's forecasts and the timing of ongoing consolidation of the operations of ExpressJet Airlines, if achieved.  

Actual operational and financial results of SkyWest, SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines will also vary, and may vary materially, from those anticipated, estimated, projected or expected for a number of other reasons, including, in addition to those identified above: the challenges of competing successfully in a highly competitive and rapidly changing industry; developments associated with fluctuations in the economy and the demand for air travel; ongoing negotiations between SkyWest, SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines and their major partners regarding their contractual obligations; the financial stability of those major partners and any potential impact of their financial condition on the operations of  SkyWest, SkyWest Airlines, or ExpressJet Airlines; the resolution of current litigation with a major airline partner of SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines; fluctuations in flight schedules, which are determined by the major partners for whom SkyWest's operating airlines conduct flight operations; variations in market and economic conditions; labor relationships; the impact of global instability; rapidly fluctuating fuel costs; the degree and nature of competition; potential fuel shortages; the impact of weather-related or other natural disasters on air travel and airline costs; aircraft deliveries; and other unanticipated factors.  Risk factors, cautionary statements and other conditions which could cause SkyWest's actual results to differ from management's current expectations are contained in SkyWest's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission; including the section of SkyWest's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, entitled "Risk Factors."

SOURCE SkyWest, Inc.

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