MRJ on AMR’s list for new regional jets

Washington DC
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American Airlines parent AMR Corp has listed aircraft built by Bombardier, Embraer and Mitsubishi as candidates for a fleet of larger regional jets it seeks to operate after emerging from bankruptcy with relaxed scope clause restrictions.

A best and final offer submitted to the Allied Pilots Association last week lists representative aircraft that would comprise two new classes in its fleet.

In the category between 79 and 118 seats, American's term sheet includes the E190/E195, CRJ1000 and MRJ-100. The latter is a proposed derivative of the MRJ family still in development.

American Airlines also described a proposal for scope clause relief in the category below 79 seats, and listed "aircraft such as CRJ900, E170/175 MRJ70-90, or comparable aircraft".

Scope clause relief is a key element in AMR's financial recovery plan for American Airlines and American Eagle. Its regional subsidiary is limited to flying jets mostly 50 seats and smaller, which have become increasingly costly to operate with the rising price of oil.

By moving to larger aircraft, AMR's strategy is to spread the fuel cost over a larger number of seats.

The term sheet confirms that American is considering several types of aircraft for its potential future regional fleet, including new entrants such as Mitsubishi. The list is not comprehensive, but notable excludes the AVIC ARJ21, Bombarderier CS100 and Superjet SSJ100.