United Airlines is adding 20 more dual-class Bombardier CRJ550 jets
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United Airlines is betting on the continued success of the Bombardier CRJ550 with a commitment for 20 more of the type by next year.
The Chicago-based carrier is adding the additional CRJ550s, its first 50-seat regional jet with a first-class cabin, to its agreement with regional affiliate GoJet Airlines, Trans States-owned GoJet said Wednesday. The additional aircraft, which will give United a fleet of 74 CRJ550s by the end of 2021, will begin arriving this summer.
The CRJ550, a re-certified variant of the Bombardier CRJ700, is outfitted with 10 seats in first class, 20 in Economy Plus and 20 in economy. The jets feature several closets that allow passengers to forgo gate-checking carry-on bags and are configured with a self-serve pantry for first-class customers.
Notably for United, the aircraft allowed it to offer first-class seats on routes where it was unable to do so with its prior regional fleet because of caps on large regional jets, typically those with 65-76 seats, under its agreement with pilots.
“Our customers are telling us they love flying the CRJ550 and we’re excited to continue growing our fleet and our long-standing relationship with GoJet,” Sarah Murphy, senior vice president of United Express at United, said in a statement.
United introduced the CRJ550 on flights between its Chicago O’Hare (ORD) base and 15 cities, including Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (MDT), and Northwest Arkansas near Fayetteville, Arkansas (XNA), in October. The jets now fly numerous routes from the airline’s Chicago, Newark Liberty (EWR) and — beginning in March — Washington Dulles (IAD) hubs.
By adding the 50-seat jets to its feeder fleet and in turn reducing the number of CRJ700s it flies, United is able to add more Embraer 175s. The airline ordered 20 more of the E-Jets with deliveries this year in December.
Featured image courtesy of United Airlines.