US Airways free to expand 90-seat or under fleet

Source:
This story is sourced from Flight International
Subscribe today »

Flight International online news 09:00GMT: America West Airlines and US Airways could contract regional affiliates to fly additional  Bombardier CRJ900s or other similarly sized regional jets with under 90 seats following the completion of their merger.

crj 900 - thumb

A transition agreement brokered between pilots and management at both carriers says the employee groups’ collective bargaining agreements are to be modified to “allow for a combined maximum of 93 CRJ900” or other regional aircraft with a maximum capacity of 88 seats (90 seats if in a single configuration) and a maximum take-off weight limit of 90,000lb (40,860kg), well within the ranges of the CRJ900 and Embraer E170/175.

These can “be operated in revenue service at any given time at Express carriers”, according to the deal.

Embraer 190 flying, however, will be conducted by mainline, as dictated by the transition agreement. Pilots at both carriers must still ratify proposed terms covering pay rates and working conditions for E-190 operations.

At present, America West pilots’ contract allows for regional affiliate Mesa Air Group to fly 38 of the 86-seat CRJ900. Mesa has previously said it will be operating the full allocation by November.

US Airways, meanwhile, has already earmarked Republic Airlines to fly 28 E-170s as US Airways Express.

Combined, the new post-merger US Airway - with a mainline fleet of 360 aircraft - will have already assigned 66 70-plus seat regional aircraft to outside affiliates, leaving room for the addition of 27 more within the 90,000lb maximum under the new transition agreement.

MARY KIRBY/PHILADELPHIA