AMR Eagle Holdings

American Eagle Airlines

American Eagle Airlines Inc., is a regional airline based in Fort Worth, Texas, United States which began as an afflilation of smaller regional airlines with American Airlines. It is an airline partner of American Airlines (both wholly owned by the AMR Corporation holding company), operating over 1,800 flights a day, serving 159 cities across the USA, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. It is considered to be the world's largest regional airline system. In terms of revenue, American Eagle Airlines would be considered a major airline carrier as it has over $1 billion annual revenue earnings, however, it does not qualify for major status simply because its aircraft seat less than 100 people.

Like its mainline partner, American Airlines, the American Eagle brand is an affiliate member of the Oneworld alliance. American Eagle Airlines also has a code sharing agreement with Northwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Continental Airlines on California routes.

The name was also used between April 1980 and April 1981 by an unrelated short lived start up airline which flew charters while it awaited the granting of routes. The authority to fly several routes was given, but the airline suspended operations and filed bankruptcy before any scheduled operations were flown.


American Eagle was conceived in the mid-1980s as a collection of regional carriers with contracts to carry the American Eagle brand name and started operations on November 1 1984. American Eagle's first flight was taken by Metroflight Airlines on November 1, 1984 from Fayetteville, Arkansas to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. The first of its operations was for Command Airways (or Command Airlines) and was based at Dutchess County Airport in Wappinger, New York. The operation there included a maintenance facility. Other carriers included Air Virginia, Simmons Airlines, Wings West Airlines, Metro Airlines and Chaparral Airlines.

In the late 1980s, these carriers were marketed as one company called American Eagle. Metro Airlines was purchased by AMR on December 22, 1992. Following the tragic crash of an American Eagle marketed flight flown by regional airline carrier Avair (formerly known as Air Virginia), AMR Corp. injected financial capital into Avair Inc. so it could continue operating and flying the American Eagle brand. Eventually, Avair Inc.'s assets were completely sold to AMR corporation and AMR operated this new company as Nashville Eagle, beginning in May 1988. From these origins and Simmons Airlines (the largest of the marketing operations which was also bought but by AMR in 1988) the predecessors of American Eagle Airlines Inc. as a certificated company with its own operating certificate were formed. However Nashville Eagle, Wings West, Flagship Airlines, and Simmons Airlines remained separate subsidiary companies of AMR Corp., with separate airline operating certificates until after 1998 as did Executive Airlines Inc. Unlike the other mentioned airlines, Executive Airlines Inc. was not merged into American Eagle Airlines Inc. airline operating certificate, but remains a separate subsidiary of AMR Eagle Holdings Corporation, commonly referred to by the brand American Eagle. Executive Airlines, still provides American Eagle service by contract for AMR American Airlines through the American Eagle brand and its affiliation with the certificated American Eagle Airlines, Inc.

American Eagle Airlines launched its first turbofan powered regional jet/jet airliner service in May 1998 from Chicago to Cleveland, Cincinnati and Milwaukee using Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft. Business Express was acquired by AMR Eagle Holdings Corporation in March 1999 and integrated into American Eagle Inc. in December 2000. It has 10,054 employees.

American Eagle Airlines flights from Los Angeles International Airport are a codeshare with several airlines including Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines Alaska Airlines, Qantas, and are under the Delta Connection name for Delta Air Lines. These codeshare routes are partly a result of AMR Corporations acquisition of TWA and TWA's Trans World Express/TWA Connection service.

On November 28, 2007, reported that American Eagle's parent, AMR Corporation, intends to divest itself of American Eagle sometime in 2008. On December 14, 2007, The News & Observer of Raleigh (NC) reported that such a change in ownership could result in a reduction of service from American Eagle's hub in Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

AMR is reportably "spinning off" American Eagle. From American Airlines Inc, 8k SEC filing on November 29 2007. "The planned divestiture would include both American Eagle Airlines, Inc., which feeds American Airlines hubs throughout North America, and its affiliate, Executive Airlines, Inc., which carries the American Eagle name throughout the Bahamas and the Caribbean from bases in Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico.


American Eagle operates from hubs in Boston, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, New York-LaGuardia, Los Angeles, Raleigh, and San Juan.

American Eagle also operates maintenance facilities at Abilene Regional Airport in Abilene, Texas; Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport in Bentonville, Arkansas; Port Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio; San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport in San Luis Obispo, CA; Springfield/Branson Regional Airport at Springfield, MO and Sawyer International Airport in Marquette, Michigan, and has maintenance technicians at San Jose International Airport

The potential sale of American Eagle by its parent could lead to a reduction of service from the hub at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Reductions likely would occur on routes connecting Raleigh-Durham and smaller cities, particularly Hartford, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Bentonville, Arkansas, Columbus and Louisville. Service to Newark also could be impacted. Many of these routes are served by other carriers serving RDU.



The AMR Eagle Holdings Corporation combined airline fleet inclusive of American Eagle Airlines, Inc., and Executive Airlines Inc., consists of the following aircraft as of October 2006 :
American Eagle Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
Routes Notes
Bombardier CRJ 700 25 70 Operated from ORD and DFW on high-density routes
and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport XNA
Embraer ERJ-135 39 37 All routes
Embraer ERJ-140 59 44 All routes
Embraer ERJ-145 108 50 All routes
Saab 340B 28 34 Primarily operates intrastate routes from DFW and LAX Will be retired on October 1, 2008. Last flight is Monroe, LA to Dallas/Fort Worth.
ATR 72-Super ATR-210 39 64 Operates Florida and Caribbean routes from MIA and SJU. Will begin operating on intrastate routes from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on 9/3/2008. First two routes are DFW-LAW and DFW-GRK. Operates under Executive Airlines Inc. About half will be transferred to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after the retirement of the Saab 340 in early October.

As of February 2008, the average age of American Eagle fleet is 7.8 years.

Executive Airlines Inc., which has a separate operating certificate from American Eagle Airlines Inc., uses ATR 72 aircraft based in San Juan (SJU) Miami (MIA)and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport .

Incidents and accidents under AMR Eagle's Executive Airlines operating certificate

Incidents and accidents under AMR Eagle's predecessors operating certificates

  • August 24, 1984 Wings West Airlines / Flight 628 Midair collision. Shortly after departing the San Luis Obispo County Airport on a commuter flight to San Francisco International Airport, a Wings West Airlines twin-engine Beechcraft C99 (N6399U) collided head-on with a private Rockwell Commander 112TC aircraft (N112SM) that was descending for a landing at the same airport.
  • February 19, 1988: American Eagle Flight 3378 operated by Avair, a Fairchild SA227 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. It was revealed during the investigation that the pilot had complained of illness but decided to continue the flight.
  • October 31, 1994: American Eagle Flight 4184 operated by AMR's regional airline Simmons Airlines an ATR 72; Near Roselawn, Indiana: The aircraft inverted, dived, and crashed from holding pattern at 10,000 feet (3050 m) due to icing. The four crew and 64 passengers were all killed.
    • Following the crash near Roselawn, longstanding problems with the ATR aircraft operating in some icing conditions were revealed by a Stephen Fredrick (a whistle blower later fired by the airline) in the book "Unheeded Warning - The Inside Story of American Eagle Flight 4184". The book was published in July, 1996 by McGraw-Hill. American Eagle has since phased out service using ATR aircraft in cold-weather areas, replacing the aircraft with regional jets. However, ATR-72 aircraft are still used for Caribbean operations from Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, where ice is not an issue.
  • December 13, 1994: American Eagle Flight 3379 operated by AMR's regional airline Flagship Airlines , 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.

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