Envoy to remain independent subsidiary of American for now

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American Airlines has no immediate plans to either spin off Envoy or merge it with either Piedmont Airlines or PSA Airlines, says its senior vice-president of regional carriers Kenji Hashimoto.

“We don’t have any interest in spinning [off] any of our wholly-owned regionals at this moment,” he says on the sidelines of the American Airlines leadership conference in Dallas on 17 June. “We’re really focused on going through the integration and just trying to get things settled as far as providing a good product for our customers.”

The same goes for any possible merger of Fort Worth, Texas-based American’s three wholly-owned regional carriers – Envoy, Piedmont and PSA – he says.

Prior to the airline’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2011, American had planned to spin off then American Eagle Airlines – the carrier was renamed Envoy in April – as a separate company. Those plans were put on hold and appear to have been shelved since its merger with US Airways in December 2013.

Envoy’s future is still unclear, despite it remaining a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Following the rejection of a tentative agreement by pilots at Envoy in March, American announced that it would place 60 Embraer 175s tentatively bound for the airline with another carrier and plans to remove all of its 59 Embraer ERJ-140s as they come off lease.

Captain Bill Sprague, chairman of the Envoy Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) master executive council, said in March that American would remove Envoy’s 47 Bombardier CRJ700s as well as the ERJ-140s leaving the carrier with a fleet of only about 100 aircraft in the future.

The mainline carrier has not confirmed plans to remove the CRJ700s.

“It’s still going to be very, very substantial,” says Hashimoto, on Envoy’s contribution to American’s regional network. He estimates that it will continue to provide about a third of the lift, he says.

Minneapolis-based Compass Airlines will operate 20 of the 60 E175s, according to an announcement today. The carrier is a owned by Trans States Holdings and has a fleet of 42 E170s and E175s.

American has not announced who will operate the remaining 40 E175s.