American Airlines has contracted with Compass Airlines to fly 20 of its new 76-seat Embraer E175 regional jets.The contract gives American the option of placing more of its E175s with the regional carrier, which is a subsidiary of Trans States Holdings. American announced last December it had ordered 60 E175s from Embraer.“Compass Airlines has a proven history of providing safe, reliable, customer-friendly and cost-effective service on the E175 aircraft and this made Compass a great choice for our business and our customers,” said Kenji Hashimoto, American’s senior vice president of regional carriers.Compass, based in Minneapolis, will begin flying the E175s in the first quarter of next year under the American Eagle brand and livery. Compass currently operates 42 E170 and E175 jets for Delta Air Lines out of Minneapolis/St. Paul and Detroit.“We’re thrilled to begin our partnership with American with these 20 new state-of-the-art aircraft that will allow us to provide a top-tier experience to customers of American,” said Richard Leach, Compass’s chief executive.The aircraft had been promised to Envoy Airlines, the former American Eagle subsidiary of American Airlines Group, if its pilots union approved a tentative agreement with American. But earlier this spring the pilots rejected the proposed contract that called for pay scale freezes.This is the first time Compass will fly under the American Eagle banner although American has used its parent company, Trans States Holdings, to fly regional flights out of St. Louis. American has 10 other regional carriers that operate flights for the Fort Worth-based airline including its wholly-owned subsidiaries Envoy, PSA and Piedmont.The E175s for American will have 12 first-class seats, 20 main cabin extra seats and 44 seats in economy. American did not disclose which routes Compass will fly with the E175s.
Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631 Twitter: @Sky_Talk