As Gary alluded to in his entry, Republic Airlines will be flying for American Airlines.
From the looks of it, this is a major gain for Republic and Embraer, who will be supplying the fleet to American.
The type has been selected is a favourite of mine on regional hops – The Embraer E-175. Republic Airlines have ordered 47 of the type, with 47 options to purchase – a total of 94 aircraft if all options are exercised according to ATW.
One of the reasons I do like the Embraer E-Jet series is simple – no matter what an airline does the configuration of the aircraft, it’s very difficult to screw up the configuration so it becomes uncomfortable. Additionally, the E-Jet series is a tiny bit wider than the Bombardier CRJ series – making for a much more comfortable journey.
Republic will configure these aircraft in a tw0-class layout, with 12 first class seats and 64 economy class seats installed.
The planes will operate for American Eagle by Republic Airlines – subject to court approval due to American Airlines still being under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
However, it’s an interesting move putting these birds into play. They’re small enough so they can ply the lighter routes regularly and at a reasonable cost, yet large enough to mount a serious operation to other cites.
Combined with the addition of a First Class cabin in these planes, deployment of these planes will be watched to see what routes they take over, and which they displace – be it of lower capacity aircraft, or higher capacity aircraft with a high frequency.