Embraer predicts AMR 76-seat jet solicitation soon

Washington DC
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Embraer says that it expects to receive a request for proposals in the "coming weeks" from American Airlines parent AMR for dozens of new regional jets.

The Brazilian airframer's prediction was disclosed on 12 December in a press conference with local reporters.

Such a solicitation would allow AMR to begin the replacement of a portion of its Embraer-based fleet of 198 37- to 50-seat jets with new 76-seat aircraft. The Embraer 175 and the Bombardier CRJ900 are the airline's only options in the 76-seat market until 2018.

A re-fleeting is possible under a new labour agreement between AMR and the Allied Pilots Association, which still needs approval from the bankruptcy court. A hearing is scheduled in New York on 19 December.

The pilots union has accepted AMR's proposal to increase the number of regional jets above 70 seats to comprise one quarter of the carrier's 497-aircraft narrowbody fleet, or about 124 large regional jets.

In that category today, AMR now operates 47 Bombardier CRJ700s jets and 36 ATR 72s turboprops, but it is in the process of phasing out the latter. That leaves room for AMR to add a maximum of 77 76-seaters under the new pilots agreement, although the number could fluctuate basked on the number of narrowbodies in American's mainline fleet.