Will Your American Airlines Mainline Flights Be Replaced By a Regional Jet? American Places an Order for 90 More Large Ones..

Back in January American ordered 53 large regional jets with first class and main cabin extra additional legroom seating. Largely these planes have been intended to operate in and out of Chicago O’Hare, replacing bigger aircraft.

American has lagged United at Chicago, and the move was seen as a way to shrink capacity there without reducing their network.

The regional jet-ification of American continues, however. That’s something that’s been expected with the US Airways merger. US Airways operates a large fleet of regional jets, flying them longer distances and on a greater variety of routes than American does. Specific routes have not yet been announced.

Today American announced an order for 90 large (76 seat) regional jets and they took an option for 130 more.

Thirty of the jets will go to US Airways Express carrier PSA, which will eventually be branded American Eagle (and the planes will be painted as American Eagle). These 30 aircraft are Bombardier CRJ900s and will have 12 First Class, 32 Main Cabin Extra and 32 economy seats

The other 60 haven’t been publicly assigned yet, are Embraer E175s, and delivery is expected in the first quarter of 2015. They will have 12 First Class, 20 Main Cabin Extra and 44 economy seats.

All will offer inflight wireless internet.

Here’s a video tour released in August of the regional jet configuration ordered earlier in the year, and note the mention of seat power as well.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Love the E-175. I think I actually prefer it to a mainline airplane–just as comfortable, but no middle seats to deal with anywhere on the plane. Big windows, quiet, plenty of room for rollaboard bags overhead…the new AA can fly as many E-175’s as they want, as far as I’m concerned!

    Also, at least in the current US Embraer fleet, there’s a more favorable F to Y ratio, increasing upgrade chances…

  2. You guys are 100% correct about the 175s, but the 900s are not good! I hate so see anyone buying new CRJs..

  3. For the less well informed — what are the fundamental differences, other than number of passengers, between regional and mainline aircraft?

  4. Both of these configurations will be better for MCE and upgrades than the A319s, and Y will be more comfortable than the super-narrow seats on the 738s. So long as rollaboards fit, this works for me.

  5. I agree with the above commenters about the Emraer’s line of regional jets. The 175 is comfortable and comparable to a 737 in most ways. The E-190 is barely a regional jet (100 seats in Jetblue’s configuration) but I do prefer it to 737s and A-320s.

  6. Maine doesn’t have AA service–however we do have US. Will AA will be taking over the gates at PWM? Thanks

  7. odd how AA puts 12 F on both 175s and 900s (favorite seat: 2a, single w/ window & Aisle both) yet the 319 has only 8 F.

  8. @Gary any insight as to whether PWM will pick up direct service to additional hubs? It’d be a real win for us in Portland to get a nonstop to ORD or maybe even DFW.

    I know US currently has Gates 9 and 10, flying 1x CLT, 4X DCA and 5X PHL, daily. I wonder if they have the rights to the currently vacant Gate 11.

  9. Gary – other than price, why on earth would they chose the CR9 over the E75/E90? The latter is a MUCH more comfortable aircraft for pax…2nd bathroom, real overheads.

    So I’m guessing it was price…

  10. c’mon guys, no one knows yet what new routes may come down the pike for smaller stations in the network. I, too, live in PWM and I feel sure that AA will be quite pleased to be back in all of the New England stations. And, I strongly suspect that we’ll absolutely see PWM-ORD at some point next year as fleets can be reassigned, etc. Currently the primary connecting point for virtually the entire northeast wishing to fly to any point west is PHL — which can be disastrous on many levels for numerous reasons. With all of that said, there have been no official announcements on new route development just yet (hello – they just officially merged a few days ago). My money says that PWM absolutely picks up at least two ORD flights, but no chance of DFW service.

  11. @scott You’re right, but an official announcement doesn’t always precede Gary knowing something. That’s why I read his blog – he’s often early, and mostly right. I don’t doubt that those kinds of route decisions haven’t been made, but I’m sure they’re being discussed. If anyone’s heard any rumblings, Gary might be one of those first few.

  12. @scott Also, I wouldn’t count out PWM-DFW. For some unknown reason, our “little” metro of 250k supports a daily mainline flight to CLT and there is talk of bumping it to two – in the interim, they’ve moved the return CLT-PWM back to accommodate more connecting traffic. Getting a daily PWM flight to AA’s biggest hub would be similar, just longer distance. I’m of course just guessing, but I think PWM has proven that it can support higher connecting fares in lieu of driving to BOS.

    That said, I’d trade that DFW flight for 2 a day to ORD, as long as it’s on an E70/75/90 and NOT a CRJ or E35/45. That would presumably put some pricing pressure on UA – have you recently looked at PWM-ORD fares? Ridiculous.

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