American Eagle
American Eagle logo
Founded1984 (1984) in Fort Worth, Texas[1]
1998 (1998) (second incarnation from Simmons Airlines)
Frequent-flyer programAAdvantage
AllianceOneworld (affiliate)
Parent companyAmerican Airlines Group
HeadquartersSkyview, Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Key peopleDerek Kerr (President)[3]

American Eagle is a US brand name for the regional branch of American Airlines, under which six individual regional airlines operate short- and medium-haul feeder flights. Three of these airlines, Envoy Air (formerly American Eagle Airlines), Piedmont Airlines, and PSA Airlines, are wholly owned subsidiaries of the American Airlines Group. American Eagle's largest hub is Charlotte Douglas International's Concourse E, which operates over 340 flights per day, making it the largest express flight operation in the world.


A Convair 580, similar to the one operating the inaugural American Eagle flight
An American Eagle Bombardier CRJ700

Prior to the Airline Deregulation Act in 1978, most major US air carriers had maintained close relationships with independent regional carriers in order to feed passengers from smaller markets into the larger cities, and, in turn, onto the larger legacy carriers. In the post-regulation era, the hub-and-spoke system gained prominence, and in order to feed traffic from smaller markets into these newly established hubs, the major carriers outsourced regional operations to these smaller carriers. These relationships included the use of code sharing, shared branding, and listing regional partners in the computer reservations systems of the mainline carrier.

American Eagle commenced service on November 1, 1984, with a flight from Fayetteville, Arkansas, to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). This flight was operated by Metroflight Airlines (a wholly owned subsidiary of Metro Airlines), using a Convair 580 turboprop aircraft. Metroflight also operated de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter commuter turboprop aircraft on American Eagle flights serving DFW.[4] Other operators contracted by American Airlines to fly the American Eagle banner during this time included Air Midwest, Air Virginia (later AVAir), Chaparral Airlines, Command Airways, Simmons Airlines, and Wings West.

On September 15, 1986, Executive Airlines joined the American Eagle system. With hub operations at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the addition of Executive Airways to the American Eagle family opened up an extensive inter-island network throughout the Caribbean.

Between 1987 and 1989 AMR Corp. (parent corporation of American Airlines) gradually acquired most of its regional carriers, starting with Simmons Airlines. By 1991, AMR had consolidated its wholly owned regional carriers into four separate entities: Executive Airlines, Flagship Airlines, Simmons Airlines, and Wings West.[5] AMR would later purchase the assets of bankrupt Metro Airlines in 1993. At this point, AMR owned all of the airlines that were operating for American Eagle.

On May 15, 1998, Flagship Airlines and Wings West were merged into Simmons Airlines, with the new entity given the name American Eagle Airlines. Along with Executive Airlines, these would be the only two operators using the American Eagle brand name for the next fourteen years.[5]

After American Airlines acquired Trans World Airlines (TWA) in 2001, it retained the contracts with the carriers that operated under the Trans World Express banner, which, at the time, included Chautauqua Airlines, Corporate Airlines, and Trans States Airlines. However, instead of being integrated into the American Eagle brand, these carriers operated under a separate regional brand known as AmericanConnection. This brand name was used for thirteen years before being discontinued in 2014.

American Eagle aircraft parked at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

2010s developments

As part of its restructuring and emergence from chapter 11 bankruptcy, AMR announced that it would start contracting American Eagle flying to carriers outside of its wholly owned subsidiaries. On November 15, 2012, SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines, both subsidiaries of SkyWest, Inc. began operations for American Eagle.[6] On August 1, 2013, Republic Airways a subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, commenced flying operations under the American Eagle branding as part of a 12-year capacity purchase agreement to operate Embraer 175 aircraft for American Eagle.[7]

On September 12, 2012, AMR announced the discontinuation of the AmericanConnection brand, and all operations were going to be integrated into the American Eagle brand.[8] However, Chautauqua Airlines, a subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, and the only operator of AmericanConnection flights at the time of the announcement, opted not to renew its contract. All AmericanConnection flights ended on August 19, 2014.

American Eagle service operated by Executive Airlines ceased operations on March 31, 2013. At the same time, its base at San Juan was dehubbed.

Due to the fact that an increasing number of other carriers were being contracted to fly under the American Eagle brand, it was announced on January 15, 2014, that American Eagle Airlines would change its name to Envoy Air. The name change took effect on April 15, 2014.

Compass Airlines, a subsidiary of Trans States Holdings, began American Eagle operations on March 27, 2015, as part of a deal to operate 20 new Embraer 175 aircraft on behalf of American. These aircraft are based at American's Los Angeles hub.[9]

Air Wisconsin had announced it would exclusively fly as United Express which commenced in March 2018, ending their involvement in operating flights under the American Eagle brand.[10]

In May 2018, American Airlines announced the termination of its partnerships with ExpressJet and Trans States Airlines as of 2019, meaning the end of those operators conducting American Eagle flights.[11]

In March 2020, due to the reduction in flying in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Compass Airlines announced that it would be ceasing operations on April 5, 2020, ending its operations as American Eagle.[12]

In September 2020, Envoy Air, a subsidiary of American Eagle, announced a permanent closure at its two NY bases at LGA and JFK, due to a new codeshare agreement between American Airlines and JetBlue.[13]

Operators and fleet


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Bombardier CRJ700
Embraer ERJ 145
Embraer 175

As of August 2023, the combined American Eagle branded fleet consists of the following regional jet aircraft:[14]

American Eagle fleet
Airline Aircraft In fleet Orders Passengers Comments
F Y+ Y Total
American Airlines Group airlines
Envoy Air Embraer 170 22 5[15] 12 20 34 65 1 Main Cabin seat blocked
Embraer 175 107 12 20 44 76
Piedmont Airlines Embraer ERJ 145 61 3 47 50
PSA Airlines Bombardier CRJ700 61 9 8 48 65
Bombardier CRJ900 73 12 32 32 76 Re-configuration to an 80-seat arrangement in progress since September 2022, 35 aircraft to have one Main Cabin seat blocked.[16]

7 CRJ-900s from Mesa bought by American transferred to PSA. 4 in maintenance in Dayton and 3 sitting in Houston.

12 20 48 80
Third-party contractors
Air Wisconsin Bombardier CRJ200 40 50 50
Republic Airways Embraer 170 10 33 12 20 34 65 1 Main Cabin seat blocked
Embraer 175 91 12 20 44 76
SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ700 89 1 9 16 40 65
Embraer 175 20 12 20 44 76
Total 574 39

Former operators

Airline Years of operation Notes
Air Midwest 1985–1988 Assets acquired by AMR and integrated into Nashville Eagle.
American Eagle Airlines 1998–2014 Rebranded as Envoy Air.
AVAir (formerly Air Virginia) 1985–1988 Declared Bankruptcy: Assets acquired by AMR and integrated into Nashville Eagle.
Chaparral Airlines 1984–1990 Acquired by AMR in 1992.
Merged with Metroflight Airlines.
Command Airways 1986–1991 Acquired by AMR in 1988.
Merged with Nashville Eagle to form Flagship Airlines.
Compass Airlines 2015–2020 Ceased operations in April 2020. Assets transferred to Envoy Air.
Executive Airlines 1986–2013 Acquired by AMR in 1989.
ExpressJet 2013–2018 Transferred exclusively to United Express.
Flagship Airlines 1991–1998 Merged with Simmons Airlines and Wings West Airlines to form American Eagle Airlines.
Mesa Airlines[17] 2014–2023 Transferred exclusively to United Express.
Metroflight Airlines, a division of Metro Airlines 1984–1993 Declared Bankruptcy: Assets acquired by AMR and integrated into Simmons Airlines.
Nashville Eagle 1988–1991 Merged with Command Airways to form Flagship Airlines.
Simmons Airlines 1985–1998 Acquired by AMR in 1987.
Merged with Flagship Airlines and Wings West Airlines to form American Eagle Airlines.
Trans States Airlines 1985–2018 Originally flew as Trans World Express. Transferred exclusively to United Express.
Wings West Airlines 1986–1998 Acquired by AMR in 1987.
Merged with Flagship Airlines and Simmons Airlines to form American Eagle Airlines.

• In January 1988, Nashville Eagle became AMR Corp.’s first and only start-up airline, using equipment acquired from Air Midwest.
Business Express was acquired by AMR Eagle Holdings Corporation in March 1999,[18] although it never flew under the American Eagle brand before being fully integrated into American Eagle Airlines, Inc. in December 2000.

Historical regional jet fleet

The American Eagle brand, through its various regional and commuter airline partners, operated a variety of twinjet aircraft over the years including the following types:

Historical turboprop fleet

An American Eagle ATR 72 operated by Executive Airlines at Joplin Regional Airport. (2011)
A Saab 340 formerly operated by American Eagle at Los Angeles International Airport. (2007)

The American Eagle brand, through its various regional and commuter airline partners, operated a variety of twin-turboprop aircraft over the years including the following types:


Main article: List of American Eagle Airlines destinations

Accidents and incidents


  1. ^ "History of American Airlines". American Airlines Inc. 2015. Archived from the original on May 26, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  2. ^ "Regional Airline Affiliate". American Airlines, Inc. 2015. Archived from the original on June 5, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  3. ^ "American Airlines Group Executive Leadership Team". American Airlines, Inc. 2015. Archived from the original on March 16, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  4. ^, April 15, 1985 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Dallas/Fort Worth flight schedules
  5. ^ a b "A Short and Somewhat Confusing History of American Eagle, er, Envoy". The Crankey Flier. January 23, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  6. ^ Associated, The (September 12, 2012). "American Air signs deal to contract out some flying to SkyWest". Yahoo! News. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  7. ^ American Airlines confirms launch of E175 operations | CAPA. Centre for Aviation. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  8. ^ Sky Talk: Eagle won't fly American feed out of LAX, closing pilot and flight attendant base Archived 2014-02-01 at the Wayback Machine. (2012-09-12). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  9. ^ "Compass Airlines Selected To Operate 20 New Embraer E175 Aircraft Owned By American Airlines". Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  10. ^ "Partners". Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "American Airlines Drops Two Regional Carriers as It Streamlines". Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  12. ^ Josephs, Leslie (March 19, 2020). "Regional US airline Compass shutting down as coronavirus presents 'insurmountable obstacles'". CNBC. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  13. ^ "Is This the End of American's 50-Seaters in New York?". September 13, 2020.
  14. ^ "American Eagle". Retrieved August 8, 2023.
  15. ^ "Six more birds are coming to Envoy". March 14, 2023.
  16. ^ Leff, Gary (August 16, 2022). "American Airlines Adding Seats To Regional Jets". View from the Wing. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  17. ^ "Mesa Air Group to Expand Partnership with American Airlines - Yahoo Finance". Archived from the original on January 14, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  18. ^ "Company News: American Eagle Air buying Business Express." The New York Times. December 5, 1998 "?". New York Times. December 5, 1998.
  19. ^ "Scheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter Accident occurred Friday, February 19, 1988 in CARY, NC : Probable Cause Approval Date: 4/4/1989 : Aircraft: FAIRCHILD SA227-AC, registration: N622AV : Injuries: 12 Fatal". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  20. ^ "Scheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter Accident occurred Sunday, June 07, 1992 in MAYAGUEZ : Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/10/1995 Aircraft: CASA 212, registration: N355CA : Injuries: 5 Fatal". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  21. ^ "Overspeed and Loss of Power on both Engines During Descent and Power-Off Emergency Landing Simmons Airlines, Inc., d/b/a American Eagle Flight 3641, N349SB" (PDF). Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  22. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident British Aerospace 3201 Jetstream 32 N918AE Raleigh/Durham Airport, NC (RDU)". December 13, 1994. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  23. ^ "Accident occurred Tuesday, December 13, 1994 in MORRISVILLE, NC : Probable Cause Approval Date: 6/22/1996 Aircraft: British Aerospace JETSTREAM 3201, registration: N918AE : Injuries: 15 Fatal, 5 Serious". Archived from the original on January 20, 2009. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  24. ^ "Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of SIMMONS AIRLINES (D.B.A. AMERICAN EAGLE ) : Incident occurred Sunday, July 09, 1995 in CHICAGO, IL : Probable Cause Approval Date: 3/21/1996 Aircraft: ATR 72-212, registration: N440AM : Injuries: 1 Minor, 64 Uninjured". Archived from the original on November 28, 2005. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  25. ^ "NYC99FA110" (PDF). NTSB. Retrieved December 7, 2021.
  26. ^ "Scheduled 14 CFR operation of Executive Airlines (D.B.A. American Eagle) : Accident occurred Sunday, May 09, 2004 in San Juan, PR : Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/8/2005 : Aircraft: ATR 72, registration: N438AT : Injuries: 1 Serious, 19 Minor, 6 Uninjured". Archived from the original on January 20, 2009. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  27. ^ NTSB Safety Recommendation July 10, 2006. Addressed to Honorable Marion Blakey, Commissioner, Federal Aviation Administration, pp. 1–4. Retrieved 2-15-09.
  28. ^ "LAX06IA076". January 2, 2006. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  29. ^ "Safety Recommendation" (PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. NTSB. July 10, 2006. pp. 1–4. Retrieved February 15, 2009.
  30. ^ "Investigation: 200402415 – Saab Aircraft Co SF-340A, VH-KEQ". Archived from the original on October 21, 2009. Retrieved October 14, 2012.