Brazilian aerospace company Embraer has signed a $972m contract with North American regional carrier SkyWest for the delivery of 20 E175 jets.

The new E175 jets will feature a 76-seat configuration and be the first E-Jets operated by SkyWest within the American Airlines network.

Delivery of the aircraft is expected to begin during the second half of this year.

The manufacturer has listed the order in its 2019 fourth-quarter backlog.

In February 2019, SkyWest placed a $422m firm order of the same 76-seater E175 jets.

The carrier also ordered seven E175 jets in a 70-seat configuration last August in a deal worth $340m.

Embraer’s E175 obtained type certification from several aviation authorities in Brazil, Europe and the US. It completed its maiden flight in 2003.

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Including the latest order, SkyWest has purchased more than 180 E175 aircraft since 2013.

SkyWest president and chief executive officer Chip Childs said: “We’re pleased to continue advancing our position in the industry with this latest order of new Embraer aircraft.

“We appreciate the long-standing partnership with Embraer and look forward to operating this outstanding aircraft for all four of our mainline partners.”

Embraer and SkyWest started their association from 1986 when SkyWest began operating the EMB 120 Brasilia turboprop.

Headquartered in São José dos Campos, São Paulo, Embraer manufactures commercial jets featuring up to 150 seats.

The company has delivered 1,500 of the 1,800 orders secured for the E-Jets programme.