American Airlines’ Envoy Unit to Transfer 50 Jets to Other Carriers

By Paul Riegler on 22 November 2014
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An American Eagle jet taking off from Newark

An American Eagle jet taking off from Newark

American Airlines announced plans to move a minimum of 50 regional jets from Envoy Air, its recently renamed regional subsidiary, to other regional airlines.

The news was announced in a letter to Envoy employees by Kenji Hashimoto, American’s senior vice president responsible for regional carriers, Frequent Business Traveler obtained a copy of which.

Hashimoto cited “an insufficient number of pilots at Envoy in 2015 to operate our planned schedule” in the letter, adding that Envoy “remains an important part of American Airlines Group.”

The airline executive said that the staffing problem stemmed from “the number of Envoy pilots flowing through to American each month or leaving due to normal attrition.” He attributed the problem to the lack of a “cost-effective pilot agreement” between the airline and the pilots union, noting that “pilots want to work for carriers that are actively growing and expanding their fleets” and Envoy cannot do that with a contract in place.

The aircraft transfers will begin in March. Twenty 50-seat Embraer 145 jets will go to Piedmont Airlines, which is also owned by American Airlines Group, and the rest will go to a variety of other regional carriers including Trans States Airlines.

American announced a name change for its American Eagle subsidiary to Envoy in January of this year.  The airline continues to use the American Eagle brand for regional flying, however.

In February of this year, the airline pilots’ Master Executive Council rejected the deal that would allow American to add 60 new Embraer 175 aircraft to its fleet but called for freezing the pay rate scale until 2018 as well as higher contributions for healthcare insurance.

At the time, the union said that the agreement “was asking too much of a pilot group that has already given up previously agreed-to contractual work rules and benefits,” the union said in a statement, referencing concessions made during American Airlines’ bankruptcy in 2012.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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