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American Airlines Selects Compass Airlines To Operate Regional Jets

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Compass Airlines LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trans States Holdings, Inc., said Wednesday that it has been selected by American Airlines to operate 20 new Embraer E175 regional jets under the American Eagle brand. American Airlines is a unit of American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL: Quote).

Compass Airlines expects to begin taking delivery of the 76-seat aircraft and start scheduled service under the American Eagle brand and livery in the first quarter of 2015.

The deal also provides American Airlines the option to place additional E175 aircraft it owns with Compass Airlines in the future.

Richard Leach, President and CEO of Compass Airlines said, "We're thrilled to begin our partnership with American with these 20 new state-of-the-art aircraft that will allow us to provide a top-tier experience to customers of American. The opportunity to grow our operation for American beyond the 20 initial E175s we have been awarded also points to a bright future for Compass and our employees."

However, the deal marks a setback to the American Eagle Airlines unit, now known as Envoy Air Inc., after its pilots rejected a long-term contract proposal in March.

American Airlines said in December 2013 it had signed agreements with Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer S.A. (ERJ) to buy 60 new 76-seat E175 regional jets, with options for up to 90 additional aircraft.

Kenji Hashimoto, senior vice president of regional carriers for American Airlines said, "This is the first time Compass will provide regional flight service for American. We are looking forward to Compass operating these new aircraft to provide an exceptional travel experience to American's customers connecting to our extensive global network."

Compass Airlines noted that the addition of these 20 American aircraft will increase its fleet size to 62 aircraft, all of which are either Embraer E175 or E170 aircraft.

Trans States Holdings, Inc. is a privately-owned holding company for three regional airlines, including Compass Airlines, GoJet Airlines and Trans States Airlines.

The Trans States Holdings family of airlines provides scheduled passenger service under the U.S. Airways Express, United Express and Delta Connection regional service brands. The company is headquartered in Bridgeton, Missouri, near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

AAL closed Wednesday's trading at $42.66, up $0.79 or 1.89 percent on a volume of 11.25 million shares. In after-hours, the stock further gained $0.08 or 0.19 percent to $42.74.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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