The holdup in the transition is because of DL
's precarious financial situation.
manages to avoid BK, some of the FRJ's (probably about 20) will once again operate for Delta Connection. The remaining ten will likely be sold to SkyWay to operate in the Midwest Connection program.
However, if DL
goes CH11, it's unlikely the FRJ's will ever fly for DL
Connection. The FRJ's will get dumped back on Indy (they are responsible for the FRJ's if DL
defaults) and Indy will be stuck with planes they don't want. Indy can probably get SkyWay to take some, but the rest would be a big liability for Indy.
To be perfectly honest, I don't think DL
really wants the FRJ's in the Delta Connection program. DL
has plenty of RJ
's to cover the FRJ flying and DL
has to pay a premium to get SkyWay to operate them. If DL
could, I'm sure they'd love to just sell all of them...unfortunately there's not a big market for the FRJ.
is stuck with them and will try to keep them going for a few more years. If DL
does sign a deal with SkyWay, look for it to be relatively short term (about 3 years). After 3 years, the planes will have depreciated enough that DL
could just write them off (or try to sell more of them to SkyWay).
Don't get me wrong, the FRJ is a nice plane from a passenger perspective. IMO, they are vastly more comfortable than the CRJ/ERJ. But the comfort factor, doesn't make up for the FRJ's bad economics.