American Airlines (Dallas/Fort Worth) today (August 1) launched new service with 76-seat Embraer ERJ 175 large regional aircraft. According to the airline, the launch “marks 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 ERJ 175 jets will be branded with the new American Eagle livery and operated by Republic Airlines (2nd) (Indianapolis), a subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings (Indianapolis).
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 ERJ 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 ERJ 175s expected to be in service by the first quarter of 2015.
American’s ERJ 175s feature a two-class configuration with 12 First Class seats and 64 Main Cabin seats, including 20 with Main Cabin Extra (MCE). The ERJ 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 ERJ 140 aircraft through its Chautauqua Airlines subsidiary.
American’s fleet plan calls for the transitioning out of smaller regional aircraft such as ATR 72s and ERJ 135s by the end of 2013. Deploying large regional jets such as the ERJ 175 allows American to more effectively compete by offering customers more choices with the right-size aircraft to match market demand.
The first ERJ 170-200LR (ERJ 175) for Republic Airlines for the American Eagle contract is N401YX (msn 17000363), handed over on July 15, 2013. It was followed by N402YX on July 18 and N403YX on July 23.
Copyright Photo: PRNewsFoto/American Airlines.