Bombardier launches enhanced CRJ900 with American

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American Airlines Group will take delivery of the first enhanced Bombardier CRJ900 with improved fuel burn in June, says Bombardier vice-president of sales Kevin Smith.

The aircraft will burn up to 5.5% less fuel than first generation CRJ900s, he says at the Regional Airlines Association (RAA) convention in St. Louis today. This improvement is achieved through weight reductions, including new nozzles, on the aircraft.

All future CRJ900s will be delivered with the enhancements, adds Smith.

The lower fuel burn and flexible passenger cabin configurations provide airlines with up to $900,000 in combined annual savings and additional revenue generating opportunities, he says.

Bombardier has a backlog of 49 firm orders for the aircraft, including those from American and Delta Air Lines-subsidiary Endeavor Air, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows.

The fuel burn improvements will help the CRJ900 compete with Embraer’s enhanced 175 aircraft. The Brazilian airframer delivered the first E175 with a 6.4% reduction in fuel burn, which it achieves with a new winglet and aerodynamic clamps, to SkyWest Airlines in March.

Bombardier will fly the CRJ900 to Dallas/Fort Worth International airport and Dayton International airport for events with American and its subsidiary PSA Airlines on 20 and 21 May, before officially delivering the aircraft in June, says Smith.

American has a firm order for 30 CRJ900s and options for 40 more, which it finalised in December 2013. PSA will operate the aircraft.