MIAMI — American Eagle will change its name to Envoy as the regional subsidiary attempts to differentiate itself from the brand of the same name. The change, which had been rumored for a few weeks, will go into effect in the spring of 2014.
Like many regional airlines, however, the new corporate identity will not become the airlines’ new livery. Envoy will operate under the American Eagle brand, as will all ten airlines currently flying regional contract work for American Airlines Group (AAG).
American Airlines Group, which owns Eagle, cited confusion between the carrier’s present name and the American Eagle the brand as a primary driver behind the decision. Indeed the name represents both an independent carrier (soon to be Envoy) and a brand name that multiple carriers including Republic and Skywest along with American Eagle (the airline) fly under.
The other two regional carriers under the AAG umbrella, PSA and Piedment, will also switch to Eagle branding, but not until 2015.
The name was chosen, says AAG, from more than 1,000 possibilities and with feedback from its 14,000 employees. It was chosen, it says, because of the word’s connotation with ambassadorship. Envoy is also the name of the present US Airways’ international business class cabin.
Eagle, the airline, recently made news after its pilots union leaders and company management came to an agreement on a new labor contract late last week. The contract requires concessions from pilots on benefits and wages in exchange for a more clearly defined career track from regional to mainline, along with a guarantee that the carrier will receive sixty newly ordered Embraer 175 jets. The contract is expected to go to a vote by union members in the near future.