Three days after its merger with US Airways, American Airlines Group, Inc. has signed a firm order for 30 Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jets and has taken options on 40 more.
Based on the list price for the Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen, the manufacturer values the firm order at approximately US$1.42 billion. This could increase to approximately US$3.38 billion if American Airlines converts the 40 options into firm orders.
With this order, American Airlines becomes the first customer to benefit from new enhancements to the Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen regional jet. In addition to the 4 per cent improvement in fuel burn already achieved with the ‘NextGen’ package, enhancements to the aircraft’s powerplant and weight reduction initiatives, which include upgraded avionics, will offer a further reduction of up to 1.5 per cent.
Altogether, this represents a 5.5 per cent fuel burn reduction over earlier-generation Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft, and up to 5 per cent lower fuel burn compared to competitive, in-production jets in the same seat class, according to Bombardier Aerospace. The manufacturer estimates that the fuel-burn reduction will cut American’s fuel bill by a net present value of $500,000 per aircraft over 12 years.
“We’ve closed our merger with US Airways Group, Inc. and as we begin the work to harmonize the American and US Airways operations, an agreement like this with Bombardier will greatly improve our ability to optimize our flying with the right aircraft to meet customer demand,” says Peter Warlick, vice president, fleet planning for American Airlines. “This order will allow American to lower costs by replacing older aircraft.”
American Airlines will use its new CRJ900 NextGens, along with 60 Embraer 175 regional jets it has ordered at the same time (optioning 90 more in what potentially could be a massive deal with Embraer) to replace 50-seat regional jets now in the American Eagle regional-airline network.
Each new American Eagle CRJ900 NextGen will have 12 First Class, 32 Main Cabin Extra and 32 Main Cabin seats.
The 30 CRJ900 NextGens will be operated on behalf of American by PSA Airlines, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of US Airways. American expects to begin taking delivery of its new CRJ900 NextGens in the second quarter of 2014.
American Airlines and US Airways currently have separate regional-airline networks, in addition to separate mainline operations. Eventually, however, as American and US Airways complete their operational merger under the American Airlines name, the American Eagle and US Airways Expres networks will be combined to become probably the largest unified regional-airline network in the world.
Including the American Airlines order announced on December 12, Bombardier has recorded firm orders for 1,812 CRJ Series aircraft, including 339 CRJ900 and CRJ900 NextGen regional jets.
Worldwide, Bombardier CRJ Series aircraft are in service with more than 60 airlines and more than 30 customers operate corporate variants of the aircraft.
CRJ Series jets are operating in over 50 countries on six continents and, on average, a CRJ aircraft takes off every 10 seconds somewhere in the world. CRJ Series aircraft have transported more than 1.4 billion passengers and have logged more than 38 million flight hours and over 32 million takeoffs and landings to date.