American Eagle to close Los Angeles base

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American Eagle Airlines will close its Los Angeles crew base on 1 December, after more than two decades with a base at the airport.

SkyWest Airlines will replace American Eagle's 44-seat Embraer 140 operations at Los Angeles with 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft from 15 November. The AMR-owned regional carrier will continue to operate CRJ700s from the airport using crews from its Chicago O'Hare base.

"This development is consistent with American's plan to diversify its regional feed as part of its business plan to emerge from restructuring as a much stronger airline," says Dan Garton, chief executive of American Eagle, in a letter to employees today.

The carrier will move two E140s from Los Angeles to Dallas-Fort Worth, eight to Miami and one to its northeast operations, according to an internal memo. In Miami, the aircraft will be used to replace flights operated by AMR-owned Executive Airlines, which will shift operations at the Florida airport to American Eagle on 1 January 2013.

SkyWest will operate 12 CRJ200s under the American Eagle banner out of Los Angeles.

Garton says that American Eagle will continue to provide ground handling for all of American's regional operations at Los Angeles. The mainline carrier's regional flights arrive and depart from a remote terminal accessible by bus from the secure side of terminal 4.

The regional airline does not expect any furloughs in Los Angeles, says Garton.

American Eagle operates a third of their 57 scheduled departures from Los Angeles on CRJ700s with the balance on E140s, according to American's 10 September schedule.

The Air Line Pilots Association American Eagle executive council did not respond to questions by press time.