Envoy Air

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Envoy Air
Envoy (airline).svg
IATA
MQ
ICAO
ENY
Callsign
ENVOY
Founded 1998 (as American Eagle Airlines)
Hubs
Frequent-flyer program AAdvantage (American Airlines)
Airport lounge Admirals Club
Alliance Oneworld
Fleet size 264
Destinations 160
Parent company American Airlines Group
Headquarters Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.
Key people Pedro Fábregas (President)
Website envoyair.com

Envoy Air Inc. (formerly American Eagle Airlines) is an air carrier based in Fort Worth, Texas.[1] American Eagle, however, is still the name of a marketing brand used by Envoy as well as Republic Airlines based in Indianapolis, Indiana, ExpressJet Airlines based in Atlanta, Georgia and SkyWest Airlines based in St. George, Utah in the operation of passenger air services as the regional affiliates of American Airlines.[2] Envoy is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group. Flights operated by the airline will continue to fly under the American Eagle brand.

Operating over 1,800 flights a day, serving 159 cities across the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean,[2] Envoy is considered to be the world's largest regional airline system.[3]

Envoy is an affiliate member of the Oneworld airline alliance. Until April 11, 2012, American Eagle Airlines had a code share agreement with Delta Air Lines on California routes.

The name, American Eagle Airlines, was also used between April 1980 and April 1981 by an unrelated air charter service that suspended operations and filed bankruptcy before flying any scheduled operations.[4]

History[edit]

The headquarters of AMR Corporation, which houses the American Eagle Airlines offices. (2009)
A Saab 340BPlus formerly operated by American Eagle at Los Angeles International Airport. (2007)

Envoy began as a collection of regional carriers with contracts to carry the American Eagle brand name. The first American Eagle flight was operated by Metroflight Airlines, which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Metro Airlines (formerly Houston Metro Airlines), on November 1, 1984, from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Metroflight utilized Convair 580 turboprop aircraft that had been formerly operated by Frontier Airlines. Other carriers that have flown in American Eagle (airline brand) livery include Executive Airlines, Command Airways, Air Virginia, Simmons Airlines, Chaparral Airlines and Wings West Airlines. Among other aircraft in its fleet, Chaparral flew Grumman I-C turboprops which were stretched, 37 passenger regional airliner versions of Grumman's successful propjet business aircraft and was one of only a few air carriers to ever operate the type in scheduled passenger service.

Until 1987 these third-party carriers flew under contract with American Airlines to provide regional feed to its hubs. During 1987 and 1988 AMR Corp. acquired its regional carriers, starting with Simmons Airlines. AMR's final airline d/b/a American Eagle acquisition was Executive Airlines in 1989.

By mid-1991 AMR had consolidated the number of carriers to four. The May 15, 1998, merger of Wings West and Flagship into Simmons (and the name change of Simmons Airlines to American Eagle Airlines) reduced the number of carriers flying as American Eagle under separate operating certificates to two: American Eagle Airlines, Inc. and Executive Airlines, Inc.

During 2007, AMR began studying ways to spin American Eagle Airlines off into a separate company, including, but not limited to, the possibilities of selling the company to either stockholders or to an unaffiliated third party. In 2008, AMR said any plans had been put on hold until the airline industry stabilized after the worldwide financial crisis. In July 2011, AMR announced the spin-off of American Eagle Airlines but those plans were again put on hold when Parent AMR Corp. filed for bankruptcy in November 2011. In 2014 the company changed its name to Envoy Air.

American Eagle carriers
Carrier Eagle service began Acquired by AMR Eagle service ended Notes
Metroflight Airlines (formerly Metro Airlines) November 1, 1984 May 28, 1993 May 28, 1993 Bankrupt; assets acquired by Simmons Airlines[5]
AVAir (formerly Air Virginia) May 15, 1985 May 1988 May 1988 Bankrupt; assets acquired by Nashville Eagle[6]
Simmons Airlines October 1, 1985 August 1, 1987 May 15, 1998 Merged with Flagship and Wings West to form American Eagle Airlines[7]
Command Airways April 27, 1986 September 28, 1988 June 1, 1991 Merged into Nashville Eagle to form Flagship Airlines[8]
Wings West June 1986 August 9, 1987 May 15, 1998 Merged into Simmons to form American Eagle Airlines, Inc.[9]
Executive Airlines November 1, 1986 1990[10] March 31, 2013 San Juan (SJU) American Eagle hub shut down with ATR-72 turboprop aircraft phased out of fleet
Nashville Eagle January 1988 January 1988 June 1, 1991 Merged with Command Airways to form Flagship Airlines[11]
Flagship Airlines June 1, 1991 June 1, 1991 May 15, 1998 Formed by the merger of Command Airways into Nashville Eagle; merged into Simmons to form American Eagle Airlines, Inc.[12]
American Eagle Airlines May 15, 1998 May 15, 1998 Apr 15, 2014 Formed by the merger of Wings West and Flagship into Simmons[7]
Envoy Air Apr 15, 2014 May 15, 1998 Still Operating American Eagle Airlines rebranded to Envoy
  • In January 1988, Nashville Eagle became AMR Corp.’s first and only start-up airline, using equipment acquired from Air Midwest.[11]
  • American Eagle Airlines launched its regional jet service in May 1998 using Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft.
  • Business Express was acquired by AMR Eagle Holdings Corporation in March 1999,[13] although it never flew under the American Eagle brand before being fully integrated into American Eagle Airlines, Inc. in December 2000.

Codeshare agreements with other airlines[edit]

For a brief period American Eagle Airlines cooperated with Trans World Airlines by allowing the placement of the TW two letter IATA code upon American Eagle Airlines flights feeding into Los Angeles and later New York's JFK Airports. These services were known as the Trans World Connection.[14][15]

These American Eagle Airlines/Trans World agreements were forged prior to and well in advance of AMR Corporation's route and asset acquisition of TWA in 2001.

Hubs[edit]

Envoy operates from four hubs at Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, New York (at both Kennedy and LaGuardia airports). Former hubs include Boston, Nashville, San Jose, San Juan, Los Angeles, and Raleigh/Durham, with former focus cities being St. Louis and Washington.

Envoy also operates maintenance stations in Abilene, Texas;[16] Blytheville, Arkansas;[17][18] Columbus, Ohio; Springfield-Branson National Airport in Springfield, Missouri; Sawyer International Airport in Marquette, Michigan; and Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Bentonville, Arkansas.

American Eagle Airlines rebranding as Envoy Air[edit]

On January 14, 2014, American Airlines Group officially announced the rebranding of its American Eagle subsidiary as Envoy. Planes operated by American Eagle will continue to operate under the current American Eagle branding, but an "Operated by Envoy Air" label will be added, as is the case when contractors fly American Eagle aircraft.[19]

Destinations[edit]

MQ hubs listed by departures (January 1, 2014)[20]
Rank Airport Flights
1 Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas 242
2 Chicago-O'Hare, Illinois 211
3 Miami, Florida 74
4 New York-LGA, New York 68
5 New York-JFK, New York 27

Envoy Air fleet[edit]

The Envoy Air fleet consists of the following aircraft (as of January 2014):[21]

Envoy Air Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Options Passengers Routes Notes
F Y+ Y Total
Bombardier CRJ700 25 9 54 63 High-density routes from JFK, LAX, LGA and ORD
22 56 65
Embraer ERJ-140 59 44 44 Continental U.S., Mexico, Canada
Embraer ERJ-145 118 50 50 Central and eastern U.S., Canada, Mexico
Total 249

At October 2010, the average age of the Envoy Air fleet was 9.7 years.[22]

In September 2009, AMR Corporation announced plans to add a First Class cabin to its fleet of 25 Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets and also signed a letter of intent with Bombardier, Inc. to exercise options for the purchase of 22 additional CRJ700 SRS 702ER aircraft for delivery beginning in the middle of 2010.[23]

In January 2014, American Eagle's pilots union reached an agreement with the regional carrier's management that guarantees 60 of the new Embraer 175 aircraft that American Airlines ordered in December to be used with Eagle. The deal includes options for 90 other aircraft to be operated by the regional carrier. Delivery of the aircraft would begin in the first quarter of 2015. This deal was voted down by the pilots' union ALPA.[24][25]

Historical turboprop fleet[edit]

The American Eagle brand via its various regional and commuter airline partners operated a variety of twin turboprop aircraft over the years including the ATR-42, ATR-72, Beech 99, British Aerospace BAe Jetstream 31 and 32 models, CASA 212, Convair 580, Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner, Grumman Gulfstream I (stretched G-IC model), Nihon YS-11, Short 330, and Short 360. Currently, no turboprop aircraft are flown on any American Eagle branded passenger services as all flights are operated with regional jets.

An American Eagle ERJ-140 taxiing at O'Hare International Airport, Chicago. (2008)
An American Eagle ERJ-145 gated at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Cleveland. (2009)

On-board service[edit]

On domestic flights in North America and areas in the Caribbean, American Eagle Airlines offers a buy on board program offering snacks for purchase.[26]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

Executive Airlines[edit]

Envoy Air Inc. predecessors[edit]

  • August 24, 1984, Wings West Airlines Flight 628 Midair collision. Shortly after departing the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport on a commuter flight to San Francisco International Airport, a Wings West twin-engine Beechcraft Model 99 (N6399U) collided head-on with a private Rockwell Commander 112TC aircraft (N112SM) that was descending for a landing at the same airport, killing all 17 on both aircraft. The NTSB attributed the crash to inadequate visual lookout on the part of both aircraft's pilots, and their failure to heed the recommended communications and traffic advisory practices for uncontrolled airports.[29]
  • February 19, 1988, AVAir Flight 3378, a Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner was on a regularly scheduled flight between Raleigh-Richmond when it crashed into a reservoir about a mile from Raleigh-Durham International Airport from where it had departed in the vicinity of Cary, North Carolina: The aircraft departed during low ceiling, low visibility, and night conditions. Analysis of radar data indicated the aircraft was in a 45 degree descending turn. Both crew members and all 10 passengers were killed.[30]
  • October 31, 1994, American Eagle Flight 4184 operated by AMR's regional airline Simmons Airlines (now American Eagle Airlines), an ATR 72; Near Roselawn, Indiana: The aircraft inverted, dived, and crashed from holding pattern at 10,000 feet (3050 m) "after a ridge of ice accreted beyond the deice boots" resulting in an unexpected aileron hinge moment reversal that subsequently resulted in the loss of control. The four crew and 64 passengers were all killed. In the months following the accident, American Eagle redeployed its ATR fleet to Miami and the Caribbean where icing is not an issue. The aircraft manufacturer, ATR, has since improved the anti-ice boots. The American Eagle aircraft were modified with the updated deice system. All ATR 72s were retired from American Eagle's fleet in 2013.
  • December 13, 1994, American Eagle Flight 3379 operated by AMR's regional airline Flagship Airlines,[31] a Jetstream 31 was on a regularly scheduled service of Raleigh-Greensboro-Raleigh when it crashed into a wooded area about 4 miles SW of the Raleigh-Durham International Airport in the vicinity of Morrisville, NC. Of the 20 onboard (18 passengers and 2 crewmembers) 15 were killed while the 5 survivors received serious injuries. The probable cause of the crash was the pilot not following proper procedure when it came to an engine failure situation.[32]
  • July 9, 1995, American Eagle Flight 4127, an ATR 72 operated by Simmons Airlines, experienced a loss of the rear cabin entry door during climb after taking off from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. The cabin door opened shortly after the first officer began to pressurize the cabin; therefore, only a slight pressure differential existed between the cabin pressure and the atmospheric pressure. Lack of damage indicates the door was unlocked/unlatched when it opened. The airplane was one of fifteen aircraft equipped with a new handrail and door handle design which was different than the majority of the ATR 72 fleet. The old handle was pulled down to latch/lock the door and pushed up to unlatch/unlock the door. The direction of motion was reversed so that the handle was pushed up to latch/lock the door and pulled down to unlatch/unlock the door.
    • A private citizen located the separated door in approximately 2 feet of water in the Des Plaines River on July 10, 1995.
    • Following this incident, ATR designed another new door handle design which returns the handle motion to push up to unlatch/unlock, and pull down to latch/lock.[33]
  • January 2006, American Eagle Flight 3008 from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles, a Saab 340B+ encountered icing at 11,000 feet and regained control only at 6,500 feet, after some 50 seconds' descent. During the incident, in which no one was injured, the autopilot disconnected, the stall alarm/clacker sounded, the plane rolled sharply left and right, experienced vibration, pitched down, partly under manual control, manual deice boots were activated and ice could be heard shedding off and striking the fuselage.[34][35]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ American Eagle Airlines Inc. "American Eagle Airlines Inc - Fort Worth, Texas (TX) | Company Profile". Manta.com. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Una mirada a Envoy". Aa.com. 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  3. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 75. 
  4. ^ Tom W Norwood (1996). "1980". Deregulation Knockouts, Round One. Airways. p. 33. ISBN 0-9653993-0-3. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ a b [3][dead link]
  8. ^ [4][dead link]
  9. ^ [5][dead link]
  10. ^ [6][dead link]
  11. ^ a b [7][dead link]
  12. ^ [8][dead link]
  13. ^ "Company News: American Eagle Air buying Business Express." The New York Times. December 5, 1998 "?". New York Times. December 5, 1998. 
  14. ^ 3:59 pm. "TWA Will Expand Trans World Connection Service Via New York (JFK) - FlyerTalk Forums". Flyertalk.com. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  15. ^ "Before the Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C.:". Trans World Air Lines, Inc. Retrieved 2012-10-014. 
  16. ^ Kliener, Sarah (May 23, 2007). "DCOA slims funding for Eagle Aviation.". Abilene ReporterNews Online. 
  17. ^ Turner, Jennifer (February 13, 2005). Newarktimes.com "Growth of regional airport, economy go hand in hand.". Arkansas Democrat Gazette. 
  18. ^ "American Eagle Airlines Announces Expansion in Northwest Arkansas.". PRNewswire. October 1, 2007. 
  19. ^ Envoy is picked as new name for American Eagle Airlines | Dallas News - Business. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved on 2014-01-14.
  20. ^  "Flight Stats". flightstats.com. January 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ "American Eagle Airlines". ch-aviation.ch. Retrieved 2014-01-26. 
  22. ^ "Fleet age American Eagle | Airfleets aviation". Airfleets.net. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  23. ^ "AMR Corporation Takes Significant Steps to Face Near-Term Challenges". American Airlines Newsroom. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  24. ^ "New Eagle pilots contract would increase flying options but freeze pay". star-telegram.com. 2014-01-15. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  25. ^ "American Airlines Signs Multibillion-Dollar Jet Deals". wsj.com. 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2014-01-30. 
  26. ^ "North American / Caribbean Meal Service and Food For Sale Program". Aa.com. 2001-12-18. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  27. ^ [9][dead link]
  28. ^ [10][dead link]
  29. ^ "National Transportation Safety Board". Retrieved 11 August 2010. 
  30. ^ [11][dead link]
  31. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident British Aerospace 3201 Jetstream 32 N918AE Raleigh/Durham Airport, NC (RDU)". Aviation-safety.net. 1994-12-13. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  32. ^ [12][dead link]
  33. ^ [13][dead link]
  34. ^ NTSB Safety Recommendation July 10, 2006. Addressed to Honorable Marion Blakey, Commissioner, Federal Aviation Authority, pp. 1-4. Retrieved 2-15-09.
  35. ^ "LAX06IA076". Ntsb.gov. 2006-01-02. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 
  36. ^ "Safety Recommendation". Federal Aviation Authority. NTSB. July 10, 2006. pp. 1–4. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  37. ^ "Investigation: 200402415 - Saab Aircraft Co SF-340A, VH-KEQ". Atsb.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-10-14. 

External links[edit]