FORT WORTH, TEXAS - American Airlines announced that it has signed a 12-year capacity purchase agreement with Republic Airways Holdings to provide large regional jet flying for the first time in the company's history. This agreement, which is subject to court approval, was enabled by the new pilot contract. It is designed to offer customers more choices with the right-size aircraft to match market demand, strengthen service from American's hubs and diversify its partnership with regional carriers.
"This is a significant milestone in our company's history," said Chuck Schubert, American's Vice President – Network Planning. "Establishing a large regional jet fleet has long been part of our business plan and this agreement is another example of how we are executing on that plan in a way that benefits our business and our customers. We will offer more flights at the right intervals throughout the day in key markets while providing more opportunities for customers to travel in the First Class cabin to key business markets."
Through the agreement, Republic Airways will acquire 53 Embraer E-175 jets featuring a two-class cabin with 12 First Class seats and 64 seats in the Main Cabin.
The aircraft, which will be branded with the newly revealed American Eagle livery and operated by the Republic Airlines subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, will phase into operation at approximately two to three aircraft per month beginning in mid-2013. All 53 aircraft are expected to be in operation by the first quarter of 2015.
The new agreement will further enhance and strengthen American's relationship with Republic Airways, a longtime partner of American Airlines and the largest operator of large Embraer jets. Republic's Chautauqua Airlines subsidiary operates regional jet service for American from its hub at Chicago O'Hare with 15 Embraer E-140 aircraft.