Compass Airlines (Minneapolis/St. Paul) has announced it will operate 20 new 76-seat Embraer ERJ 175 aircraft owned by American Airlines, Inc.
Compass expects to begin taking delivery of the aircraft and start scheduled service under the American Eagle brand and livery in the first quarter of 2015. The agreement also provides American the option to place additional E175 aircraft it owns with Compass in the future.
American Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines Group Inc. (Dallas/Fort Worth), announced in December 2013 it had signed agreements with Embraer S.A. to purchase 60 new 76-seat E175 regional jets, with options for up to 90 additional aircraft. With continued new aircraft deliveries over the next several years, American will have one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the industry.
The addition of these 20 American aircraft will increase the fleet size of Compass Airlines to 62 aircraft, all of which are either Embraer E175 or E170 aircraft.
The new E175s will offer American Airlines customers a more seamless transition from mainline to regional flights with 12 First Class seats, 20 Main Cabin Extra seats offering additional legroom and 44 seats in the Main Cabin. The aircraft will also feature modern cabin elements including in-flight Wi-Fi, full-size overhead bins, more spacious lavatories, leather seats and adjustable headrests. Powered by General Electric CF34 engines, the E175 also is one of the most fuel efficient 76-seat aircraft in the market today.
Compass Airlines, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Trans States Holdings, Inc. Compass Airlines began commercial service in May 2007 as a NWA Airlink carrier with a mission to provide safe, reliable, cost-effective and customer-friendly service to the passengers it serves. Compass currently has more than 1,200 employees operating 36 Embraer E175 and six Embraer E170 aircraft as a Delta Connection carrier from its Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) and Detroit (DTW) hubs, as well as a maintenance facility in Louisville, Kentucky. Compass currently serves 57 cities, operates approximately 200 daily flights, and carries approximately 4 million passengers annually.
The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) issued this terse statement as a reaction on behave of the Envoy Air FAs:
Envoy Air Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), issued the following statement after American Airlines management announced the placement of 20 new Embraer 175 regional jets with an industry competitor:
“The hard working professionals across our company have made the American Eagle brand the gold standard within our industry for over 25 years. We were promised a fresh start after bankruptcy, with a new look, new energy and, most of all, new airplanes. American Eagle (now Envoy) employees, whether represented by unions or not, selflessly gave the concessions demanded by management in order to secure these new airplanes and bring our company into a new era of prosperity after emerging from a very dark period in our history.
“What thanks have we received? Apparently NONE. The equipment is being sent to another company which had no connection to the financial restructuring in which we engaged to insure that our company would achieve the profitability it now enjoys – the same profitability which allows it to obtain this new aircraft. For both American Airlines and Envoy Air management to now turn their backs on our award-winning employees by providing no comment as to the future of our airline is unconscionable.
“The demoralizing effect of these misguided decisions continues to weigh heavily on our operation, while long term damage from the loss of in-house profits, loss of qualified pilots, and continued contraction of our aging fleet is quickly approaching critical mass.
“AFA calls upon management to do something very simple, something very American: Make it right. Honor your commitments. Take the high road. Give your 16,000 employees the tools required to return our company to the best-in-class leader we always have been. Now is the time to set Envoy Air on the correct course.”