SkyWest says buying Embraer jets

SkyWest, Inc. announced Tuesday it has struck an agreement with Brazil's Embraer for the purchase of 100 new E175 jet aircraft, with 40 considered firm deliveries.

The deal also includes options for an additional 100 E175 aircraft from the Brazilian planemaker and would be valued at $8.3 billion if all 200 jets are ordered, the US company said in a statement.

Deliveries of the initial 40 aircraft -- configured with 76 seats -- are expected to start in the second quarter of 2014 and continue through the middle of 2015.

The initial 40 aircraft will be operated by SkyWest Airlines under a new agreement with United Airlines.

The other 60 aircraft are considered conditional until SkyWest enters into so-called capacity purchase agreements with airlines to operate them.

"The selection of the E-Jet was based on the customer acceptance, fuel efficiency and attractive operating costs that are offered by this equipment type. We hold the Embraer team in high regard and look forward to a long-term future of operating these E-Jets," SkyWest President Bradford Rich said.