Regionals Update: Eagle to bring RJs to LAX

 - May 29, 2008, 7:53 AM

American Eagle last month announced plans to launch regional jet service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning next month, with service to Albuquerque, N.M., Phoenix and Oakland, Calif. A long-time turboprop operator at LAX, American Eagle plans to provide the service with new 44-seat Embraer ERJ-140s. Eagle also plans to add Sacramento to its RJ schedule and establish ERJ-140 service between Phoenix and San Jose in early March.

In all, Eagle will add 19 jet round trips to its Los Angeles schedule, while the four flights planned for Phoenix-San Jose provide connections for passengers arriving in California from Tokyo. Now flying only regional jets from its bases at Chicago O’Hare, New York La Guardia and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Dallas-based American Eagle has introduced RJs everywhere in its mainland system except Miami and Los Angeles.

The addition of jets at LAX signals the start of another phase in the airline’s plan to shed 20 turboprops per year over the next five years. Although its plans involve retiring a large portion of its Saab 340s and ATR 42s, American Eagle has not committed to an all-jet fleet, and it continues to benefit from the baggage and passenger capacity of its ATR 72s for leisure-passenger business out of Miami and San Juan.