After Mesa signed the new codesharing agreement with US Airways to increase the number of regional jets in the US Airways system from twelve to twenty-eight jets, the company realized that Bombardier couldn’t manufacture and deliver enough regional jets to fit the proposed timeline. Mesa negotiated a deal to purchase thirty-six EMB-145 regional jets from Embraer to fill the need.
When Mesa first started taking delivery of the EMB-145s, the US Airways partnership had both Canadair CRJ-200s and the EMB-145s. Mesa decided it would be easier for maintenance and crew scheduling purposes to have all of the CRJs out west with the America West codeshare and all of the EMB-145s on the east coast with US Airways.
The EMB-145s remained in the US Airways system until 2005, when US Airways canceled the codehsaring agreement with Mesa following their second bankruptcy. Twenty-two of the EMB-145s went to Orlando as part of a new codesharing deal Mesa secured with Delta Airlines. The eight remaining EMB-145s ended up being used in the United codesharing partnership at the Washington Dulles airport as a temporary placeholder until Bombardier could deliver more CRJs. Later, when Delta increased the number of regional jets in their contract with Mesa, those eight United Express airplanes were placed into the Delta system. Those birds were no stranger to the paint shop, moving from the US Airways paint to the United Express colors, and finally to the Delta Connection livery in a very short span of time.