American Eagle to replace turboprops with regional jets at DFW

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American Eagle parent AMR Corp will replace 21 ATR-72s with Embraer regional jets at the Dallas/Fort Worth hub by the end of January and may consider further cuts to its turboprop fleet.

The announcement by American Eagle in a letter to employees on 20 December is one of the first major fleet actions taken since AMR Corp filed for bankruptcy protection on 29 November.

Six ATR-72-200s that are already parked will be retired in early January, American Eagle chief executive Dan Garton wrote.

Fifteen more active ATR-72-200s serving markets from Dallas/Fort Worth will be returned to lessors by the end of the same month, he added.

American Eagle will deploy a combination of 40-seat EMB-140 and 50-seat EMB-145 regional jets on the ATR routes that survive, Garton wrote.

All of the carrier's ATR turboprops are operated by wholly-owned subsidiary Executive Airlines. Another 18 ATR 72-200s are operated by Executive from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Miami, but their long-term future has not been decided.

"We anticipate that the remaining ATR aircraft will continue to operate in Miami and San Juan for the near-term," Garton wrote.

Replacing the ATRs with regional jets at Dallas/Fort Worth will trigger a small route shake-up as well.

American Eagle will continue serving Fort Myers, Florida, and Savannah, Georgia, from Dallas/Fort Worth, but drop ATR service to the same cities from Miami.

As regional jets come online, frequencies will be reduced in a "few, select markets", Garton wrote.