Envoy Air Inc. (formerly American Eagle Airlines) is an air carrier headquartered in Irving, Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group that, along with several carriers outside the group, feeds the American Airlines route network under the American Eagle brand. With over 1,800 flights a day, serving 159 cities across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, Envoy is considered to be the world's largest regional airline system. Envoy is an affiliate member of the Oneworld airline alliance.
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.
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 and Fort Smith, 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 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 Inc., but American Eagle continues to live on as a brand, as well as livery for Envoy-operated and third party-operated regional flights.In January 1988, Nashville Eagle became AMR Corp.’s first and only start-up airline, using equipment acquired from Air Midwest.
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, although it never flew under the American Eagle brand before being fully integrated into American Eagle Airlines, Inc. in December 2000.
The headquarters is in Irving, Texas, in two buildings located north of the northeast portion of DFW Airport.
American Eagle was previously headquartered at the American Airlines headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas and had employees in several buildings: HDQ1, HDQ2, the Systems Operations Control (SOC) center, the DFW American Eagle hangar, the DFW-area warehouse CP-28, Flight Academy, and the Flagship University. It was scheduled to consolidate operations and move 600 employees; from the headquarters, SOC, and training divisions; into the Irving offices in July 2014; they were formerly occupied by Epsilon.
Codeshare agreements with other airlines
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. 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.
Until April 11, 2012, the carrier also had a codeshare agreement with Delta Air Lines on California routes.
On January 14, 2014, American Airlines Group officially announced the rebranding of its American Eagle subsidiary as Envoy. Aircraft operated by American Eagle continued to operate under the current American Eagle branding, but an "Operated by Envoy Air" label was added, as is the case when contractors fly American Eagle aircraft. This name change was created to avoid confusion when American Airlines announced that other regional carriers would operate on behalf of American. The term 'Envoy' is a reincarnation of the now deprecated Envoy Class of seating on US Airways aircraft.Chicago, Illinois - (O'Hare International Airport)
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (Dallas Fort Worth International Airport)
New York, New York (LaGuardia International Airport)
There were previously bases in Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Raleigh/Durham, Nashville, and San Juan.
As of February 24, 2017, the Envoy Air fleet consists of the following aircraft:
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 aircraft for delivery beginning in the middle of 2010.
In January 2014, American Eagle's pilots' union reached an agreement with the regional carrier's management that guaranteed 60 of the 90 new Embraer 175 aircraft that American Airlines ordered in December were to be operated by Eagle. The deal included 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, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).
Envoy was awarded 40 new Embraer E175 aircraft with 90 options. Deliveries began on November 13, 2015.
In October 2016, Envoy announced they had taken delivery of two additional Embraer E175 aircraft.
The American Eagle brand operated a variety of twin turboprop aircraft over the years via its various regional and commuter airline partners, including the ATR 42 and ATR 72; Beechcraft Model 99; British Aerospace Jetstream 31 and 32 models; CASA C-212 Aviocar; Convair 580; Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner; Grumman Gulfstream I (stretched G-IC model); NAMC YS-11; Short 330 and Short 360; and the Saab 340. Currently, no turboprop aircraft are flown on any American Eagle branded passenger services, except Piedmont airlines. Piedmont Airlines (wholly owned by US Airways at the time of its merger with AA) is operating a fleet of Bombardier Dash 8 turboprop aircraft as American Eagle.January 2006: American Eagle Flight 3008 from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles, a Saab 340B+ operated by American Eagle Airlines, 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, and the plane rolled sharply left and right, experienced vibration, and pitched down. Manual deice boots were activated and ice could be heard shedding off and striking the fuselage. The NTSB report on this incident referenced three other Saab 340 icing incidents, as well as the Flight 4184 incident referenced above. The three were Nov. 11, 1998, in Eildon Weir, Victoria, Australia; June 28, 2002, in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia; and June 18, 2004, in Albury, New South Wales, Australia.