Republic to operate large regional jets for AA

By Jerry Limone
Republic Airways Holdings has agreed to fly 76-seat regional jets for American Airlines.

Under a 12-year agreement, Republic Airways will acquire 53 Embraer E-175 jets with 12 first-class seats and 64 coach seats, and fly them under the American Eagle brand.

American said it will phase in two to three aircraft per month beginning in mid-2013. All 53 aircraft are expected to be in operation by the first quarter of 2015.

American, which is preparing to exit Chapter 11, said the Republic deal enables it to offer large regional jets for the first time in the company’s history. The airline’s new pilot contract made the agreement possible, said American.

“We will offer more flights at the right intervals throughout the day in key markets, while providing more opportunities for customers to travel in the first-class cabin to key business markets,” said Chuck Schubert, American’s vice president, network planning.

The agreement is subject to bankruptcy court approval.

Republic’s Chautauqua Airlines subsidiary currently operates regional jet service for American from Chicago O’Hare with 15 Embraer E-140s, planes that seat 44 passengers.
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