Envoy Air on Tuesday showed off its new Embraer 175 aircraft and its leather seats, full-size overhead bins and pristine carpet.
“This aircraft represents the future of Envoy,” said the carrier’s president, Pedro Fábregas.
The first 20 aircraft will be based out of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, he said.
The Embraer 175 has 12 first-class seats, 20 main cabin extra seats, and 44 main cabin seats. The company plans to start flying the aircraft on commercial flights on Feb. 11 but has not yet announced the routes.
Employees toured the new aircraft, which flew in from the factory in Brazil on Monday evening.
American Airlines, which owns Envoy Air, assigned its Embraer 175 deliveries to the regional carrier late last year after pilots agreed to a contract that eliminated profit-sharing and froze pay scales until 2018.
Before the new pilot contract, American was removing aircraft from Envoy’s fleet and assigning them to other regional carriers. And with the lower costs provided by the pilots, American has decided to keep some of the smaller 44-seat Embraer 140s through August 2016 instead of retiring them, which keeps an additional 50 pilot jobs at Envoy.
“This company is no longer trending downward in terms of size and is starting to actually rebound. This is a place where pilots actually want to come because of equipment like the E175,” said Sam Pool, chairman of the master executive council of the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents Envoy Air pilots.
The carrier has also turned around its operations this year after routinely placing last in the on-time ratings released by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“We’ve gone 87 days without a cancellation out of DFW,” Fábregas said, not including weather-related cancellations. In the past three months, the regional airline has hired 300 ground employees and 200 gate agents at DFW and spent $2 million in new ground equipment.
Envoy, formerly called American Eagle, is one of 10 regional carriers that American has contracted with to operate flights under the American Eagle brand and livery. American, as a result of its merger with US Airways, also owns two other regional airlines, Piedmont and PSA.