Atlantic Southeast Airlines CRJ200. Courtesy, ASA

SkyWest, parent of US regionals Atlantic Southeast Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines, received US FAAapproval Thursday for a single operating certificate.

This was the final regulatory step for the two merging airlines to operate as one, effective Dec. 31.

The FAA's approval comes “in record time,” one year after SkyWest announced its acquisition of ExpressJet and plans to merge the two airlines (ATW Daily News, Nov. 12, 2010).

SkyWest president Brad Rich said, "Achieving this milestone allows us to continue our strategic integration and cost-reduction plans that we believe will position us to offer an exceptional product to our passengers and major partners and will create additional value for our shareholders."