United will add 20 Embraer E175s to its feeder fleet in 2020, as the addition of the CRJ550 allows it to add more of the larger regional jet. The United Express Cartier Mesa Airlines will operate the 20 E175s, which will be delivered in a 70-seat layout.
The E175s will one-for-one replace 20 older Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets operated by Mesa. Those jets will be sub-leased to “another United Express carrier,” United’s pilots contract limits it to 255 larger regional jets, or those outfitted with 70-76 seats and first-class cabins. Executives often say that the airline is at a competitive disadvantage due to this restriction as the contracts at its competitors American Airlines and Delta Air Lines allow them to fly up to roughly 325 of the jets.
Those larger jets, including E175s, are more popular with passengers than 50-seat models due to their typically larger cabins, amenities like inflight Wi-Fi, and the fact that most bags can be carried onboard.
In my opinion I like this move, as I love the E175 it’s really nice for me. I like how it isn’t as short and small as the CRJ family but at the same time it isn’t a full main line jet.