SkyWest Airlines said it has signed an agreement with Canadair Aerospace Group of Montreal reserving delivery positions for 10 Canadair Regional Jets. Delivery of the aircraft is subject to negotiation of a purchase agreement.

According to Ron Reber, vice president of marketing for SkyWest, the announcement is the result of extensive research and the development of a long-range market and fleet plan."The integration of the Regional Jet into our Salt Lake City hub would allow us to continue our controlled growth while providing the increased flexibility necessary to respond to new opportunities as they present themselves," said Reber.

"The speed of the RJ would enable us to expand into markets not currently receiving non-stop service to or from Delta's Los Angeles or Salt Lake City hubs."

On March 31, the board of directors of Bombardier Inc. authorized its Canadair Aerospace Group to proceed with the development, marketing and manufacture of the 50-seat jet.

Designed to travel at a speed of 530 miles per hour and a range of up to 1,700 miles, the RJ is equipped with General Electric CF34-3A turbofan engines that have proved their durability, reliability and safety in 5 million hours of service on military and general aviation aircraft.