American Eagle to get E-175s if pilots agree to new contract

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American Eagle Airlines could get 60 Embraer 175 aircraft if its pilots agree to a new contract.

The aircraft would be the 60 firm E-175s that American Airlines Group, which owns American Eagle, ordered in December 2013 with deliveries beginning in the first quarter of 2015. The aircraft will be configured with 76 seats.

Whether the Fort Worth, Texas-based regional carrier receives those aircraft depends on its pilots.

Pedro Fabregas, chief executive of American Eagle, says that American will look for other “cost competitive” placement options for the 60 aircraft if it does not reach a tentative agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) by 10 January, in an employee newsletter on 1 January.

The ALPA American Eagle master executive council is meeting to determine whether it will enter negotiations with the airline, says the union.

The union rejected a previous offer from American Eagle management to operate at least 30 76-seat regional aircraft due to its inclusion of a new B pay scale with different pay and benefits for new hires that it called “untenable”.

“I am confident that both the Eagle team and the ALPA leadership team are committed to reaching an agreement,” says Fabregas.

American Eagle presented the contract proposal with the 60 aircraft to the union in December, according to the newsletter.

American also ordered 30 Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft in December. These will be placed at its wholly-owned subsidiary PSA Airlines when deliveries begin in the second quarter of 2014.

The airline has options for another 40 CRJ900s and 90 E-175s.

Separately, Fabregas says that they will announce a new name and identity for American Eagle in the “next few weeks”. The airline is being renamed as “American Eagle” becomes the brand for all of American’s regional flying, including that by other wholly-owned and contract carriers.

American Eagle first disclosed that it was looking for a new identity in September 2012.

“The prospect of announcing a new name and a new fleet is very exciting and I look forward to getting it done,” says Fabregas.