FORT WORTH, TEXAS – American Airlines launches new service with 76-seat Embraer E-175 large regional aircraft, marking an important step in the airline’s plan to diversify its regional fleet. Announced earlier this year as part of a 12-year capacity purchase agreement with Republic Airways Holdings, the aircraft will allow American to better match customer demand in markets where, until today, it could only offer larger mainline aircraft or smaller regional jets.
The Embraer E-175 jets will be branded with the new American Eagle livery and operated by Republic Airlines, a subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings. Beginning today, the aircraft will fly from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ), Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) and Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). American will expand its E-175 service as additional aircraft are phased into operation. This will be done at a rate of approximately two to three aircraft per month, with 47 E-175s expected to be in service by the first quarter of 2015.
“For the first time in American Airlines history we are offering large regional jet flying as an option,” said Chuck Schubert, American’s Vice President – Network Planning. “In addition to strengthening our longstanding partnership with Republic Airways, this is a strong step forward in the diversification of our fleet and an important enhancement from one of our key hubs. It’s also great news for our customers, who will now have even more flight choices and opportunities to travel in the First Class cabin.”
American’s E-175s feature a two-class configuration with 12 First Class seats and 64 Main Cabin seats, including 20 with Main Cabin Extra (MCE). The E-175 has the largest First Class cabin in American’s regional fleet and is the first to feature Main Cabin Extra seating, offering customers more legroom and priority boarding. The aircraft also features modern cabin elements including full-size overhead bins, spacious lavatories, leather seating and adjustable headrests.
Republic Airways, a longtime partner of American Airlines and the largest operator of large Embraer jets, currently operates regional jet service for American in Chicago with 15 Embraer E-140 aircraft through its Chautauqua Airlines subsidiary.
“Preparing for this momentous event has involved hundreds of employees both at Republic and American,” said Republic Airways Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Wayne Heller. “I want to thank the team at American and our people throughout our network who have worked so hard developing the program for today’s launch. We all are very much looking forward to growing our longstanding relationship with American Airlines.”
American’s fleet plan calls for the transitioning out of smaller regional aircraft such as ATRs and E-135s by the end of 2013. Deploying large regional jets such as the E-175 allows American to more effectively compete by offering customers more choices with the right-size aircraft to match market demand.