United Airlines adds more Embraer E175s as Bombardier CRJ550 fleet expands

Dec 3, 2019

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.

United Airlines will add 20 Embraer E175s to its feeder fleet in 2020, as the addition of Bombardier CRJ550s allows it to add more of the larger regional jet.

United Express partner Mesa Airlines will operate the 20 E175s, which will be delivered in a 70-seat layout, the Phoenix-based regional carrier said Tuesday. Deliveries will occur from May through the end of next year.

The E175s will one-for-one replace 20 older Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets operated by Mesa. Those jets will be sub-leased to “another United Express carrier,” which Raymond James analysts said Tuesday is understood to be GoJet Airlines. The analysts expect the CRJ700s to be converted to CRJ550s that in a 50-seat layout with 10 first-class seats that TPG’s Zach Griff has described as “the most comfortable regional jet in America.”

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

United introduced the CRJ550 in October. Debuted on flights from the airline’s Chicago O’Hare (ORD) hub, the jets are part of an effort to retain high-revenue premium travelers while keeping its regional fleet in compliance with restrictions in its contract with pilots.

United’s pilots contract limits it to 255 larger regional jets, or those outfitted with 70-76 seats and first-class cabins. Executives often say that the airline is at a competitive disadvantage due to this restriction as the contracts at its competitors American Airlines and Delta Air Lines allow them to fly up to roughly 325 of the jets.

Those larger jets, including E175s, are more popular with passengers than 50-seat models due to their typically larger cabins, amenities like inflight Wi-Fi, and the fact that most bags can be carried onboard.

Related: What it’s like flying United’s new CRJ550

The CRJ550 is a workaround to these contractual limits on large regional jets at United. The planes will begin flying from its Newark Liberty (EWR) hub in February, and Washington Dulles (IAD) in March, according to Cirium schedules. United also plans to use the jets on the shuttle-like service between Newark and Washington National (DCA) that it plans to launch next spring.

United anticipates 54 CRJ550s in its regional fleet by the end of next year.

With the latest deal, Mesa will exclusively operate E175s for United with a fleet of 80 aircraft expected by end-2020.

Featured image by Edward Russell/TPG.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.