MIAMI — After officially closing the merger on Monday, the new American Airlines wasted no time in placing their first post-bankruptcy era aircraft order. The world’s largest airline signed an agreement for 60 Embraer E175 jets with options for another 90 E175s, as well as a firm order for 30 Bombardier CRJ900 regional jets with options for 40 more aircraft.
“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.”
The CRJ900s will have 12 First Class, 32 Main Cabin Extra and 32 Main Cabin seats, and will be operated on behalf of American by PSA Airlines, Inc. American expects to begin taking delivery of the CRJ900s in the second quarter of 2014. The E175 fleet will feature 12 First Class, 20 Main Cabin Extra and 44 Main Cabin seats, with delivery scheduled for the first quarter of 2015.
Republic Airways already operates the Embraer E175 on behalf of American Eagle.
American will also become the first customer of what Bombardier calls the “latest enhancements” to the CRJ900. Improvements include four per cent improvement in fuel burn over the existing CRJ900 NextGen product, as well as enhancements to the aircraft’s powerplant, reduced weight, and upgraded avionics.
While Bombardier did walk away with an order, it may not have been the order they were hoping for. The new CSeries family of jets has been slowly going through flight testing, but has not seen the flurry of orders Bombardier may have hoped for. While a small CSeries order was placed at the Dubai Airshow, the future of the CSeries is not looking great at the moment.