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SkyWest Confirms CRJ-550 Operations for Delta Connection

The airline plans to deploy the aircraft in markets previously served by single-class regional jets.

A Delta Connection CRJ-700 aircraft (Photo: Shutterstock)

SkyWest will soon operate the premium-heavy CRJ-550 aircraft under the Delta Connection brand, a spokesperson from the regional carrier confirmed on Monday. Delta recently listed the aircraft type on its website’s fleet page.

Currently operated by only GoJet for United Express, the CRJ-550 is a CRJ-700 airframe with just 50 seats. The United Express aircraft feature some interior enhancements, including large closets for roller-board bags and a snack bar in first class.

According to its website, Delta’s CRJ-550 will have 10 first class seats, 20 Comfort+ seats, and 20 standard economy seats. This configuration is nearly identical to United’s offering.

Delta’s CRJ-550 seat map (Photo: Delta.com)

Where Will Delta Fly the CRJ-550

Last month, SkyWest confirmed during an earnings call that it would be transitioning CRJ-700s from an expiring contract to CRJ-550s. At the time, the airline did not say which one of its major airline partners would market the type.

Per numerous Essential Air Service (EAS) documents from late 2023, Delta was positioning to use the CRJ-550 for some time, especially after the retirement of its 50-seat single-class CRJ-200 aircraft in December. The Atlanta-based carrier was the first major U.S. airline to completely remove the CRJ-200 from its regional fleet.

A SkyWest spokesperson confirmed the CRJ-550 will operate in markets previously served by the CRJ-200.

“SkyWest is in the process of implementing the CRJ550 in its Delta Connection operations later this year. The two-class CRJ550 will be modified from SkyWest’s existing fleet and will replace flying that was previously single-class to align with the Delta Connection experience customers have come to expect from Delta,” SkyWest told AirlineGeeks in a statement.

Last year, Delta issued a directive requiring all regional flights to include dual-class aircraft. 13 Essential Air Service (EAS) communities were affected by this requirement, including Alpena, Pellston, Sault Ste. Marie, Escanaba, and Iron Mountain in Michigan; Brainerd, Bemidji, Hibbing, and International Falls in Minnesota; along with Rhinelander, Wis.; Aberdeen, S.D.; Cedar City, Utah; and Butte, Mont.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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