American Airlines is adding 22 spacious E170 regional jets this spring

Mar 16, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A handful of regional jets are joining the American Eagle fleet this spring.

Over the weekend, the Fort Worth-based carrier filed its first routes for Embraer E170 aircraft that are due to join its regional fleet in the coming months. The planes will be based at New York LaGuardia (LGA) and will fly for two American Eagle partners, Envoy Air and Republic Airways.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Envoy is getting six newly purchased E170s. These planes were flying for British Airways’ CityFlyer subsidiary until earlier this year, when the London-based carrier decided to no longer fly the mid-size Embraer regional jet due to the pandemic.

Instead of sending them to the airplane boneyard, CityFlyer found a new home for its six E170s — Envoy Air. After the roughly 11-year-old planes hop across the pond, they’ll be repainted, rebranded and retrofitted for AA service.

Envoy Air will start flying the E170s between LGA and Indianapolis (IND) on June 3, per Cirium timetables and later confirmed by the carrier. AA will then add a second Envoy-operated E170 route, from LGA to Wilmington, North Carolina (ILM), on Oct. 31. Of course, schedules are subject to change due to the pandemic.

When Envoy inaugurates E170 service later this year, the jets will be outfitted in a 65-seat arrangement, with 12 seats in first class, 20 in extra-legroom Main Cabin Extra and 33 in coach. First class will be arranged in a 1-2 configuration, and economy will be in a 2-2 layout. The planes will feature Wi-Fi and in-seat power outlets.

In May, American Eagle-partner Republic Airways also will start flying a 65-seat version of the E170, based at LaGuardia as well. Cirium schedules show that the new jet is currently slated to operate a bunch of LGA routes, including to:

  • Asheville (AVL)
  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Cleveland (CLE)
  • Indianapolis (IND)
  • Key West (EYW)
  • Nashville (BNA)
  • Pensacola (PNS)
  • Raleigh-Durham (RDU)
  • Wilmington (ILM)

Republic confirmed that the newly reconfigured E170s have been in its fleet flying for other carriers, but they will be reallocated to American Eagle. For now, 16 Republic Embraer 170s will be reconfigured in a 65-seat arrangement.

Map of American Eagle E170 routes for June 2021 (Courtesy of Cirium)

Adding Embraer 170s — in a spacious, 65-seat arrangement — is a strategic move on American’s part.

Why?

Well, it boils down to a scope clause that American has with its pilots. These contract provisions limit how much flying American can outsource to its regional partners, based on the number of seats in each regional jet.

Per the terms of the scope clause, American Eagle can only operate a certain percentage of regional jets seating between 66 and 76 passengers.

Related: American Airlines to retire entire Embraer 140 fleet in May

By purposely outfitting the E170s with just 65 seats, these jets qualify as small regional aircraft and don’t count towards the limit on larger jets. (United made a similar strategic move when creating the 50-seat CRJ-550, a more spacious variant of the larger CRJ-700.)

Adding 65-seat E170s comes as American is gearing up to retire its smallest regional jet, the Embraer 140, this May. Brian Znotins, American’s vice president of network planning, recently told TPG that “we are publishing our plans now to phase out that aircraft type. As we continue bringing larger regional jets into our system, the Embraer 140s are the first we are phasing out.”

Related: 8 things to know about the new American Airlines-JetBlue alliance

Flying larger regional jets equipped with a first-class cabin was one of the major selling points for AA’s new Northeast alliance with JetBlue. As part of the pact, American promised to upgauge all New York flying to jets equipped with a first-class cabin, like the E170s that are now set to begin flying under the carrier’s brand.

Featured photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.