Cruising Altitude 35,000

January 18, 2012 by staff 

Cruising Altitude 35,000, In two weeks, some passengers traveling to and from Monroe Regional Airport through Dallas-Fort Worth will experience smoother and faster flights thanks to American Airlines’ replacement of its turbo-propeller craft with jets.

Starting Jan. 31, American Eagle, American Airlines’ regional partner, will have replaced all Super ATR turbo-propeller craft operating out of American’s Texas hub with Embraer ERJ jets.

These planes sport three-seat-across configuration leather seating, compared to the four-seat, side-by-side configuration of the ATRs, said Ed Martelle, American Eagle spokesman. While the new planes will accommodate fewer passengers — 37, 44, and 50 compared to 64 and 66 seated by the ATRs — Martelle said the jets will fly faster and smoother, because they don’t have propellers.

The ERJ jets aircraft can reach a cruising altitude of 35,000 to 37,000 feet and speeds of up to about 519 miles per hour. The older ATRs could only reach a cruising altitude of 25,000 feet and speeds of up to 325 miles per hour, according to the airlines.

Martelle said the swap in aircraft is part of the airlines’ Chapter 11 reorganization, for which parent company AMR Corporation, filed in November.

“Our ATRs at (Dallas-Fort Worth) were nearing the end of their leases, and passengers have told us they prefer small jets to turboprops,” Martelle said. “We moved to end the leases sooner rather than later. Also, taking the ATRs out of our fleet simplifies our maintenance programs.”

This change is expected to help reduce the airlines’ maintenance costs.

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