The American Airlines intends to modernize its fleet of regional jets. AA announced that it has signed agreements with Bombardier Inc. and Embraer S.A. to purchase 90 new 76-seat regional jets. Consistent with American's Plan of Reorganization and Merger Agreement, these aircraft will provide much improved economics for the airline as they will replace smaller, less efficient 50-seat regional aircraft scheduled for retirement.
"It's been an exciting week for American Airlines," said Kenji Hashimoto, senior vice president – Regional Carriers. "Now that we've closed our merger with US Airways, we can deliver a top-tier regional product that offers a First Class cabin, Main Cabin Extra and in-flight Wi-Fi – important elements of an improved flying experience for our customers. These new regional jets are also a big win for our employees at our regional subsidiary, and will greatly improve economic efficiencies by lowering operating costs."
Reportedly, American has firm orders for 30 Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft, with options for up to 40 more. The CRJ900s will have 12 First Class, 32 Main Cabin Extra and 32 Main Cabin seats, and the firm order of CRJ900 aircraft will be operated on behalf of American by PSA Airlines, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of US Airways. American expects to begin taking delivery of the CRJ900s in the second quarter of 2014.
"We are looking forward to welcoming these new planes into the fleet next year," continued Hashimoto. "PSA's strong economics makes it a perfect fit for the new aircraft."
"On behalf of Bombardier, I congratulate longtime customers American Airlines and US Airways on their merger, and I am delighted that the Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft was selected for their current and future fleet requirements," said Mike Arcamone, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "Bombardier's ongoing enhancements to the CRJ aircraft program are resulting in operational flexibility along with significant operating cost savings – up to 5 per cent lower fuel burn compared to announced competitive, in-production jets in the same seat class, a reduced environmental impact that promotes sustainable aviation, as well as outstanding cabin amenities for passengers – all core priorities for today's competitive airlines."
Also, American also has firm orders for 60 Embraer E175 type aircraft with options for up to 90 more. They will feature 12 First Class, 20 Main Cabin Extra and 44 Main Cabin seats, and American expects to begin taking delivery in the first quarter of 2015. The company will determine which regional carrier will fly the E175s at a later date. Both the CRJ900 and the E175 will fly in the American Eagle livery.
"We are delighted with this remarkable order from American Airlines, one of the most respected and renowned airlines worldwide. American achieved impressive results with the ERJ145 aircraft family, and we are sure that will continue with the E175, the most fuel efficient, cost effective, and passenger friendly 76-seater in the market today - which makes the E175 the clear choice of North American airlines, and proven with hundreds of orders this year," said Paulo Cesar Silva, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. "Embraer is honored to provide the new American with the E175, and it is committed to supporting the development of the new airline, to which we wish great success."