Another sign of what Embraer CEO Frederico Curado has characterized as a resurgent regional jet market appeared last week, when United Airlines inked a firm order for 30 of the Brazilian manufacturer’s E175s. The deal, which includes options on another 40 of the 76-seat airplanes, marks the first move by United to exploit its newfound freedom to alter the composition of its regional jet network since its pilots agreed to relax the scope clause in their labor contract last December.
United Airlines has moved to exploit newfound freedom to alter the composition of its regional jet network with a tentative deal to add 30 new Embraer E175s to the United Express fleet.
The growing threat posed to airline and general aviation pilots by laser pointing devices has accelerated efforts to address the problem through regulation and criminal prosecution.
The Air Line Pilots Association won the latest battle in the war on so-called regional airline outsourcing when an arbitrator derailed United Continental Holdings’ plans to place the CO code on 70-seat jet flights operated by United Express carriers from the Continental hub cities of Houston, Newark and Cleveland.
The October 1 merger of United and Continental Airlines has exhumed an old bone of contention between mainline pilots and their management that stands to profoundly affect regional airlines and the Air Line Pilots Association-represented brethren employed by them.
Houston-based Continental Express regional affiliate ExpressJet congratulated Continental Airlines and United Airlines on their agreement to merge, pending required regulatory approvals. ExpressJet currently operates 244 aircraft, including 206 for Continental as Continental Express and 32 for United as United Express. Based on May flight estimates, ExpressJet’s market share in the combined entity would represent approximately 30 percent.
The regional airline partners of United and Continental Airlines will no doubt face a period of some uncertainty as the major airlines prepare to merge their operations into the world’s largest international airline.
A new rule instituted by the Department of Transportation designed to prohibit airlines from subjecting passengers to lengthy waits on airport ramps takes effect tomorrow and will apply consistently across the entire U.S airline industry.
Jim Ream, the CEO of Houston-based ExpressJet Airlines, has accepted a position with American Airlines as senior vice president of maintenance and engineering, effective January 1. ExpressJet board member Patrick Kelly has assumed Ream’s position in the interim while the board considers candidates to fill the position of CEO for the long term. Ream succeeds Carmine Romano, who has retired after serving 41 years with American Airlines.
While second-quarter traffic posted by some of the largest publicly traded regional airlines in the U.S. followed the prevailing patterns set by their mainline partners, some carriers reacted to the exercise in “resizing” better than others.