Boy, that was fast. Mere days after the bankruptcy judge ruled that American Airlines could void the pilots’ union contract, AA started tackling one of the issues they’ve been trying to solve for quite some time.
There’s good news and bad news here. Most of these flights will operate out of LAX and DFW. So, that may mean more profitability by right-sizing the planes, it could possibly lead to more frequency(though I doubt it). DFW has phased out a good number of the turbo-props they used to fly in lieu of Embraer 145s. While I didn’t love the turbo-props, I really don’t love the E-145s either. Most are old, though not in as bad a state of repair as some of the United planes or the US Airways Saab turbo-props.
It wasn’t immediately clear which planes SkyWest would be flying. The press release only says Bombardier jets. A quick peek at their fleet shows CRJ-900s (nice), CRJ-700s (also nice), and CRJ-200s (largest part of their fleet, bleh).
The press release says 23 50-seat Bombardier jets are part of the contract, which means CRJ-200s. So, no first class cabin and slightly older planes. But, no notes on what the rest of the planes will be. AA already has some CRJ-700s flying Eagle routes. I doubt they would ultimately downsize everything but it’s definitely unclear right now.
The other unfortunate part is that the press release seems to indicate AA’s subsidiary, American Eagle, will close their LAX employee base and SkyWest will most likely just take over existing operations there. I don’t suspect that will mean a whole lot of new service.
We’ll have to wait and see.