American CRJ900s enter service in Philadelphia

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American Airlines has expanded the network of its new Bombardier CRJ900s to Philadelphia International airport, less than a month after they entered service.

The first four of 30 aircraft are flying to 17 markets, including the recently added Philadelphia-Cincinnati and Philadelphia-New York LaGuardia routes, says the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier. Most of the markets are served from its hub at Charlotte-Douglas International airport.

The 76-seat CRJ900s entered service with American’s regional subsidiary PSA Airlines between Charlotte and Cincinnati, Dayton and Pensacola on 31 July, adds the airline. They are painted in American Eagle colours but operating as US Airways Express, its website shows.

American ordered the aircraft as part of a programme to replace smaller regional jets with larger ones in December 2013. In addition to the 14 CRJ900s that it plans to add at PSA, it will also add 11 of the type operated by Mesa Airlines and 24 Embraer 175s operated by Republic Airlines to its regional fleet by the end the year.

The carrier will remove one Bombardier Dash 8-100 with 37 seats and 40 Embraer ERJ140s with 44 seats in 2014 as well.

American will take delivery of the remaining 16 CRJ900s that it has on firm order, as well as the first of 60 E175s, in 2015. It has options for another 40 CRJ900s and 30 E175s.

Compass Airlines will operate the first 20 E175s with American chairman and chief executive Doug Parker saying they hope to place the rest of the aircraft at its regional subsidiary Envoy.

“Hopefully we can work something out with them,” he told Flightglobal in July. “We’d prefer for them to go to Envoy but we need to get a contract with their pilots that makes that economic.”

All of the CRJ900s operated by PSA are equipped with Gogo in-flight wi-fi.