According to the Senior Vice President of Air Operations at the American Airlines wholly-owned regional carrier Envoy Air, “all of the E-175s and E-145s that we parked as a result of COVID-19 [are expected to be] returned to service by June 3.”
In addition all of the 20 Embraer 175 regional jets that had been operated by Compass are being brought into the Envoy Air fleet “over the next few months.” The first one, aircraft N208AN, was sent to Abilene for conformity checks by Eagle Aviation Services prior to entering revenue service.
Once this process completes that won’t necessarily mean every Embraer regional jet in American’s portfolio will be flying – as the update doesn’t cover Piedmont’s ERJ-145s or the 175s operated by Republic.
- American’s ERJ-145s are 50 seat regional jets
- American’s ERJ-175s are 76 seat regional jets
It may make sense to return smaller planes to service faster than larger planes. However that doesn’t mean that all flights will work even with the smallest jets in the fleet. Last week Senior Vice President Vasu Raja told American Airlines pilots that the small ERJ-145 regional jets “may become uneconomical” at places like New York LaGuardia where demands are low and costs are high. Regional jets cost less in total to fly than larger jets, but the cost per passenger is higher.
It also doesn’t mean that the smallest 50 seat jets will work for all passengers as they lack HEPA air filtration that larger regional jets and mainline aircraft possess.