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The move by Trans States Holdings and Skywest Inc to order this aircraft, specifically the MRJ90 variant, is interesting. Currently, in the US, the three major carriers United, Delta, and American are in contract negotiations with their pilots. A hot button topic during these negotiations is always scope. Scope sections basically define what flying must be done in house and what flying and how much flying can be outsourced. As it is currently, I’m not aware that any of the 3 major carriers, who contract this type of regional flying with TSA, SKW, etc. have permissive enough scope clauses to contract out flying to these companies on this aircraft. If I remember correctly even the updated ERJ175 took some negotiating to get the unions on board as it was outside of the weight limits set by some carriers’ scope clauses. The standard cutoff as of today for regional flying is 76 seats, this is why the CRJ-900 and ERJ175 have exactly 76 seats and the ERJ190 is flown by American Airlines proper rather than a contractor. Given many airline pilots feel their career has been hampered by two decades of regional jet fee for departure arrangements I see little hope for scope being relieved for regional airlines to fly bigger and bigger aircraft.

Of course, the move to secure order places may simply be a strategic move to trade those spots on the order book for more flying should one of the legacy airlines choose to order the MRJ for themselves. It’s interesting how the chess pieces move and fun to watch!

TLDR; Don’t expect to see this aircraft flying under the colors of any of the legacy airlines in the US until you see them ordered by the legacy airlines themselves.




The MRJ90 is only slightly bigger than the E175-E2 (92 pax in a 1-class configuration vs. 88 pax in the E175), so it wouldn't be crazy for the regional airlines to get some equipped in a lower-density configuration with 76 seats.


The E175-E2 is actually the aircraft I was speaking about being over the weight limits under current scope clauses [1]

Without the scope issue being solved these aircraft are dead in the water when it comes to the US. Obviously the US market isn’t the only market but it is certainly the largest and without it a manufacturer cannot expect to be a real threat to Boeing or Airbus.

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2018-1...




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