American Airlines confirmed (01-Aug-2013) the commencement of 76-seat Embraer E175 operations on 01-Aug-2013. The aircraft will be operated by Republic Airlines under the American Eagle Airlines brand as part of a 12-year capacity purchase agreement, and will initially be based at Chicago O'Hare. The carrier expects two to three E175 aircraft to enter service per month, reaching the maximum of 47 in 1Q2015. The aircraft are configured with 12 first class, 20 'Main Cabin Extra' and 44 economy seats. American Airlines VP network planning Chuck Schubert said: "For the first time in American Airlines history we are offering large regional jet flying as an option. In addition to strengthening our longstanding partnership with Republic Airways, this is a strong step forward in the diversification of our fleet and an important enhancement from one of our key hubs. It’s also great news for our customers, who will now have even more flight choices and opportunities to travel in the first class cabin." [more - original PR American Airlines] [more - original PR New Orleans Airport]
American Airlines confirms launch of E175 oeprations
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Southwest Airlines reinforces San Diego, La Guardia, adds routes, withdrawing from smaller airports
Southwest Airlines plans to create additional pressure on Alaska Air Group during 2014 as Delta continues its raid on Alaska’s Seattle hub. Just as Delta invades some of Alaska’s top markets from Seattle, Southwest is upping competition with Alaska from San Diego – an airport from which Alaska has been steadily expanding during the past couple of years to support its network diversification strategy. Southwest apparently believes an opportunity exists to leverage its leading position at the airport to add both transcontinental flights and service along the US west coast during 2014. It intends to add three new markets – Orlando, Portland and Seattle – and re-launch service to New Orleans after discontinuing flights in 2005.
At the same time the carrier has also outlined plans for the additional LaGuardia slots it secured as a result of the American-US Airways merger. It plans to bolster service from the closest airport to Manhattan to its strongholds of Chicago Midway and Houston Hobby as well as Nashville and Akron-Canton.
The small market casualties resulting from Southwest’s acquisition of and merger with AirTran Airways are also continuing as service from Branson, Missouri, Jackson, Mississippi and Key West, Florida is being eliminated. Other cuts include flights from Atlanta to Dayton, Norfolk and Louisville. It seems capacity in those markets is shifting to other points from Atlanta where Southwest can possibly target more local traffic.
Alaska and Delta’s relationship unravels. Deciding when a partnership is over is a big call
Alaska Air Group began 2014 facing an imbalance of supply at its headquarters and largest base Seattle. It was created by an unlikely but now familiar foe: its largest codeshare partner by revenue Delta Air Lines.
Throughout much of 2013 Delta blatantly touted its build-up in Seattle that includes numerous new flights into key domestic markets served by Alaska. Delta is building Seattle into a major US gateway on the west coast to Asia, and has decided it would rather feed passengers into those long-haul flights on its own metal rather than leverage its long-standing relationship with Alaska.
Alaska continues to field questions about the status of its partnership with Delta and how it intends to compete with a much larger enterprise in Seattle. Alaska believes it is well-equipped to withstand both the competition and the diminished relationship with Delta. One major part of its strategy is a capacity shift to ameliorate the oversupply in Seattle.