Piedmont Airlines is further expanding its fleet of Embraer 145 regional jets with accelerated deliveries of aircraft from American Airlines starting in early 2017.
“This is a vote of confidence from American and a goal we worked very hard to achieve,” said President and CEO Lyle Hogg. “American had previously committed 20 jets to Piedmont and we are pleased that our parent company will now continue to increase that number. The expanding fleet of jets puts Piedmont on an exciting path to the future, and that will lead to even more opportunities.”
Piedmont began operating the E145 regional jet in February, and has taken delivery of seven jets so far. All Piedmont jets will operate out of the American Airlines Philadelphia hub.
“We will greatly expand our operations in Philadelphia, including placing more crew members there,” said Hogg. Piedmont offers a $15,000 signing bonus to new hire pilots and plans to hire more than 200 pilots in 2016. “This is a very good opportunity for pilots who want to work for an airline that promises growth, stability and a guaranteed job at American Airlines one day.”
As a result of the accelerated jet expansion, Piedmont will begin to transition away from its traditional aircraft, the de Havilland DHC-8 turboprop. Piedmont expects to start retiring turboprop aircraft at a rate of about one aircraft per month. “The Dash has served us well for years,” said Hogg, “but we know that passengers prefer the regional jets and we want to provide the best service we can for American and for our customers.”
The expansion of Piedmont’s jet fleet comes amid growth in other areas of the company. Piedmont is adding 300 customer service jobs in Charlotte, N.C. this year and recently opened a new maintenance base in Richmond, Virginia. “At a time when so many regional airlines are shrinking, we are adding jobs across the country, adding aircraft, adding new routes,” said Hogg. “It’s exciting to be part of a very robust American Airlines Group and we’re thrilled to be part of that success.”