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Envoy Air to Retire Embraer 145 Fleet in May

Envoy Air to Retire Embraer 145 Fleet in May

BY HADI AHMAD 05/05/2023 AGO 1 COMMENTS

Envoy Air, one of the regional subsidiaries of American Airlines, has quietly cemented plans to retire its remaining fleet of Embraer ERJ-145 regional jets. This comes right as the carrier continues to add larger Embraer 170s to its fleet, in addition to Embraer 175s. 

 

Photo: Noah G | AeroXplorer

 

Background

 

The Embraer 145 family was, historically, the entirety of Envoy Air's operation. American Airlines' hubs in Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, Chicago O'Hare, New York LaGuardia, and New York JFK were buzzing with these regional jets just a few years ago. In fact, Envoy Air had over 150 of these jets in its fleet at one point. This not only includes the Embraer 145, which was the backbone, but also the smaller Embraer 140 and Embraer 135 which were retired previously.

 

Photo: Edwin Sims | AeroXplorer

 

The Embraer 145 is an aging fleet with an average age of over 18 years. As such, Envoy is looking to modernize its fleet with the induction of Embraer 170 and 175 aircraft. Not only are these aircraft newer and more efficient, but they also seat more passengers.

 



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The current Embraer 145s seat 50 people in an all-economy class configuration. However, the 170 and 175 seat 66 and 76 passengers respectively, that too with 12 First Class seats. Not only this but the E170 and E175 feature power outlets and inflight WiFi, common amenities that the E145 fleet lacked. Offering a better passenger experience in all classes is what Envoy is trying to accomplish, hence why the E145 fleet is on its way out.

 

Photo: Seth Johnson | AeroXplorer

 

The End is Near

 

Envoy Air has just 15 Embraer 145 aircraft left operating in its fleet and the carrier continues to slowly retire these planes one by one. Just a few days ago, N661JA was suddenly retired from service. After operating a revenue flight from Chicago O'Hare to Springfield, Missouri (SGF), it was ferried directly from Springfield to Marana, Arizona (MZJ) on May 1.

 

Currently, the vast majority of Envoy E145 operations are consolidated out of American's hub in Chicago O'Hare. The Envoy-operated E145s currently serve cities like Toronto (YYZ), Champaign (CMI), Peoria (PIA), and Manhattan (MHK) among a few others.

 



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There is only one route left on the E145 from Dallas/Fort Worth, that being to Champaign, Illinois (CMI). In fact, the aircraft operating from Champaign to Dallas originates in Chicago. It operates the Champaign-Dallas roundtrip before eventually flying back to Chicago from Champaign.

 

Envoy Air has not made an official announcement regarding its last revenue Embraer 145 flight, however, keen enthusiasts can do a bit of research on the American Airlines website to get their answer. The last flight looks to be AA4233 on Wednesday, May 31. This is a roundtrip service under the same flight number from Chicago O'Hare to Wausau, Wisconsin (CWA).

 

Photo: Hadi Ahmad | AeroXplorer

 

What's Next?

 

When Envoy officially closes the chapter on E145 operations, many cities that are served by American Airlines through Envoy Air will be handed over to other American-affiliated regional subsidiaries.

 

Some cities that previously received Envoy E145 service will (or already have) receive upgrades to the larger E170 and E175. However, there are other cities that Envoy will no longer serve and instead, the operation will be transferred to another subsidiary like Piedmont Airlines or Air Wisconsin.

 

Photo: Daniel Mena | AeroXplorer

 

Piedmont Airlines, another regional subsidiary of American, will continue to fly the E145 for a few more years. So if you thought the Embraer 145 was totally gone from American Airlines, think again. In fact, some former Envoy E145s will be transferred to Piedmont to continue service through them, while others will be retired completely. Piedmont Airlines is based on the East Coast and therefore, the majority of its E145 operation is based in Philadelphia (PHL) and Charlotte (CLT), with some routes that will continue to operate from Chicago (ORD).

 



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Air Wisconsin, another regional airline, recently re-signed an agreement to operate regional jets for American Eagle. This airline has brought the dreaded CRJ-200 back to the American Airlines network on many former-Envoy E145 routes. Cities like Moline (MLI) and Kalamazoo (AZO) that were previously served by Envoy E145s are already receiving the Air Wisconsin CRJ-200s, while other cities like Wausau are yet to follow.

 

Photo: AJ Riccobono | AeroXplorer

 

The CRJ-200, in terms of amenities, is the exact same as the Embraer 145. That aircraft also has no WiFi or power outlets. The only edge that the E145 has over the CRJ-200 is its unique 1-2 configuration, something that the CRJ-200 lacks with its 2-2 configuration. 

 

So while the passenger experience on routes taken over by the CRJ-200 will diminish slightly, there is still a sense of excitement that remains. A few of Air Wisconsin's "new" CRJ-200s are painted in a special retro livery, so avgeeks that happen to fly one of these aircraft have something to look forward to.

Hadi Ahmad
Lifelong aviation enthusiast raised in Central Illinois. 777 is the best plane BTW.

Comments (1)

Robert All of Piedmont's 145s are ex-envoy aircraft. By "envoy is retiring the fleet" they really mean "we're handing our last handful of 145s over to Piedmont"
241d ago • Reply

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NEWS News American Airlines Envoy Air Regional Jet Embraer Embraer 145 Embraer 175

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