American Airlines to retire entire Embraer 140 fleet in May

Feb 8, 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.

Another set of planes is destined for the boneyard.

Over the weekend, American Airlines removed the Embraer 140 (E140) fleet from its schedule effective May 5, 2021, according to Cirium timetables and later confirmed by the carrier. It’s no secret that the E140s were on their way out. It was just a matter of when.

American’s vice president of network planning, Brian Znotins, 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.”

Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter for more airline-specific news!

Cirium Fleet data shows that there are 31 E140s either in service or in storage for American’s regional affiliate Envoy Air, with only eight actively flying for the airline. These planes were all delivered from 2001 to 2003, making them roughly 18.8 years old on average.

With 16 rows of seats in a 1-2 layout, the Embraer 140s are the smallest regional jet that American currently flies. With just 44 seats in an all-coach configuration, most flyers likely won’t miss the tight arrangement. (However, solo travelers might miss the single-seat option.)

In February 2021, Cirium schedules show that the E140 is primarily based at American’s mega-hub of Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), with a total of 810 commuter hops to cities like Laredo, Texas (LRD) and Montgomery, Alabama (MGM).

In years past, American has placed these jets on a number of routes from its two New York-area hubs of JFK and LaGuardia. But with the recent news of the Northeast-focused alliance with JetBlue, American promised to upgauge its New York flying to aircraft with a first-class cabin, like the Bombardier CRJ-700 or the Embraer 175.

The E140 will become the latest plane to exit the American fleet during the pandemic. To date, the Fort Worth-based carrier has retired the Airbus A330, Boeing 757, Boeing 767, Embraer 190 and Bombardier CRJ-200.

More: American Airlines unveils major Miami expansion, another new route to Tel Aviv

American Eagle was the launch customer for the E140 with an order for 130 aircraft in October 2000. The carrier originally ordered the jet when its pilot unions didn’t approve a clause to expand the number of 50-seat planes allowed in the regional fleet. With just 44 seats, the Embraer 140 was a way around the scope clause.

Since then, the plane has been a mainstay in Envoy Air’s fleet. At one point, the affiliate operated the majority of E140s ever built.

And then the pandemic accelerated the plane’s demise for American Airlines.

When Envoy announced that it would close its New York bases in September 2020, the carrier also confirmed that the E140’s days were numbered.

Znotins conceded that the exact retirement date could always change: “as we’ve learned through this crisis, sometimes things need to be tweaked from time to time.”

For now, though, there are just about three months left to catch a ride on an American Airlines Embraer 140.

Featured photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, 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®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • 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
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

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.