Outside of the 787 Dreamliner mess, American Airlines has been the biggest media hog in aviation recently. For months now their bankruptcy and possible merger with US Airways have been discussed ad nauseam. Then last week American revealed their new logo and livery to extremely mixed reviews. (I for one like it more and more every time I see it.)
This week American signed an agreement with Republic Airways Holdings to provide large regional jet service. This service will be provided for the first time in the company’s history. While this may not be ground-breaking news I do find it interesting with the aforementioned bankruptcy/merger still hanging out there.
No one expects American to just sit there and do nothing, but the actions of the airline at this point make the whole merger option appear less likely every day. Maybe that is exactly what the people at American are shooting for. Maybe they want to end the debate and just carry on as the carrier they have been. Then again, maybe it is one of those things where a company does everything they possibly can to make people think one thing, and then comes out of nowhere and acts completely contrary to what they were leading up to.
Either way this is a valuable change that American will be making as it gives their regional fleet more diversity. The aircraft will have a first class section to cater to the business people who are one of the most valuable assets to the airline, while also providing increased scheduling options for markets where the demand may not be as consistent.
More details can be found in the press release below.
American Airlines Signs New Agreement To Begin Large Regional Jet Flying
Large 76 Seat Regional Jets Will Join the American Fleet for the First Time in its History
FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — American Airlines announced today 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.
About American Airlines
American Airlines focuses on providing an exceptional travel experience across the globe, serving more than 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories. American’s fleet of nearly 900 aircraft fly more than 3,500 daily flights worldwide from hubs in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. American flies to nearly 100 international locations including important markets such as London, Madrid, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. With more than 500 new planes scheduled to join the fleet, including continued deliveries of the Boeing 737 family of aircraft and new additions such as the Boeing 777-300ER and the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, American is building toward the youngest and most modern fleet among major U.S. carriers. American’s website, AA.com®, provides customers with easy access to check and book fares, and personalized news, information and travel offers. American’s AAdvantage® program, one of the most popular frequent flyer programs in the world, lets members redeem miles for flights to almost 950 destinations worldwide, as well as flight upgrades, vacation packages, car rentals, hotel stays and other retail products. The airline also offers nearly 40 Admirals Club® locations worldwide providing comfort, convenience, and an environment with a full range of services making it easy for customers to stay productive without interruption. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest airlines in the world, including global brands like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia Airlines, Japan Airlines, LAN and Qantas. Together, its members serve more than 900 destinations with more than 9,000 daily flights to 150 countries and territories. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir or Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol “AAMRQ” on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.