Whilst I love the Embraer E-Jets, it seems some airline executives prefer the Bombardier CRJ family of products. In the case of American Airlines, they’ve gone both ways, with E-Jets operated by Republic Airlines – and the unveiling of the CRJ900NextGen for American Eagle, operated by PSA Airlines.
New CRJ-900NextGen in American Eagle paintwork in the PSA Hanger at Dayton – Image Bombardier Aerospace
The new planes – 30 of them are due (with an option to order an additional 40) will be configured as:
- 12 First Class seats
- 32 Main Cabin Extra seats
- 32 Main Cabin seats,
- Total: 76 seats
Aircraft will be fitted with LED lighting and larger overhead bins.
The planes will be operated by American Eagle/Envoy Air by PSA Airlines (a US Airways subsidiary). Routes for deployment have not been decided upon yet.
Deliveries are due to begin in June.
The CRJ-900NextGen has a slightly better fuel burn rate, with an estimated 5.5% saving, achieved by weight saving and “a conic-shaped exhaust nozzle that improves exhaust flow and reduces fuel consumption”. This should translate into savings when compared to the CRJ900, as well as the savings of operating this aircraft compared to the smaller CRJ aircraft (like the CRJ-200 series) as well as smaller Embraer aircraft (such as the ERJ-145).
And its the smaller regional jets that are the real target in this round of new plane arrivals. The E-Jets have displaced E-140s/E-145s already in the Chicago area, whilst the CRJ-900NextGen will probably displace CRJ-200s currently operated by PSA Airlines.
Whilst a lot of us would prefer big mainline jets to ferry us from location to location, Regional Jets fill an important gap in some markets where operating a mainline jet doesn’t make economic sense.
But I’m sure more than a few of us would had prefer more Embraer E-Jets….