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American to start flying small Embraer jets for the first time in its 83-year history

Jan 25, 2013 12:25 am

Skift Take

The move to diversify suppliers of commuter flights beyond American Eagle is surely just the first of operational adjustments AA will undergo in 2013 as contracts negotiated in bankruptcy come into play.

— Samantha Shankman

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Embraer

An Embraer SA E-175 aircraft. Embraer


American Airlines signed a 12-year agreement for Republic Airways Holdings Inc. to operate 76-seat regional jets, the first such agreement in the AMR Corp. unit’s history.

Fifty-three Embraer SA E-175 jets operated by Republic will be phased into service at two to three planes a month beginning in mid-2013 through the first quarter of 2015, the airlines said in statements today.

The accord is part of American’s efforts to diversify suppliers of commuter flights beyond its American Eagle unit and to add larger regional jets that are more economical to operate at higher fuel prices. American, based in Fort Worth, Texas, was exploring a spinoff of Eagle when it filed for bankruptcy in November 2011.

Republic also said it agreed to purchase 47 new aircraft from Brazilian plane maker Embraer and lease a previously owned E-175. It also will acquire five E-175s from an unnamed third party. Embraer’s contract with Indianapolis-based Republic includes options for another 47 aircraft orders.

Eagle has been limited to operating 47 Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jets with 65 seats for American by the larger carrier’s contract with its pilots union. Concessions made as the labor agreement was renegotiated in bankruptcy allow for more of the bigger jets to be flown for American.

With assistance from David Risser in London. Editors: James Callan and Niamh Ring. To contact the reporter on this story: Mary Schlangenstein in Dallas at maryc.s@bloomberg.net. To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net. 

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