American Eagle changes not expected to affect Tyler Pounds

Published on Thursday, 10 April 2014 17:49 - Written by From Staff Reports

Davis Dickson doesn’t expect any changes will be made to Tyler Pounds Regional Airport after the announcement Wednesday that American Eagle Airlines is changing its name and headquarters.

The regional carrier is changing its name to Envoy on April 15 and plans to move its headquarters to Irving. American Eagle is owned by American Airlines Group and has been housed at American’s corporate offices in Fort Worth since it was created in 1998. Eagle employees work at seven locations near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported. Eagle will move into two buildings on Regent Boulevard, just northeast of the airport.

“I’ve not received any official notices from American about change,” Dickson, manager of Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, said Thursday via email. “American Eagle has extremely good passenger load factors in Tyler. Planes are full.

“With the growth seen in Tyler in 2013 and 2014, I think we could see more flights and/or larger aircraft serving the Tyler market,” he said.

American is expanding its use of outside carriers to fly routes under the American Eagle brand. Last month, American Eagle pilots turned down a proposed contract that would have guaranteed that larger regional jets be operated by Eagle in exchange for concessions. Because the pilot contract was turned down, American Eagle has not held any meetings with the union leaders.

Without new contract terms, American management has said it plans to shrink Eagle’s operations and, in an investor update on Tuesday, said it will retire 40 Embraer 140 aircraft by the end of the year. The 44-seat aircraft are operated by Eagle, the Star Telegram reported.

Dickson said American Eagle also performs all the ground services, such as baggage handling and gate operations, for American and United Airlines.

American Eagle president Pedro Fabregas said there are no plans to spin off Envoy from American Airlines Group, and it does not plan to try to attract regional flying contracts from other airlines, such as United Airlines or Delta Air Lines, the Star Telegram reported. He added that he does not plan to announce any furloughs at the carrier even as it retires the older 44-seat aircraft. The carrier is hiring about 15 pilots a month, but it’s losing about 44 each month who retire, leave for another job or are hired at American Airlines’ mainline operation, he said.