American Airlines Pilot Scope

By ColombusCameraOp of “Flickr”

This is broken down into sections to describe American’s proposed Scope. You will Definitions, Furlough Protection, Block Hour Limitations, Scope, and a Summary.

Understanding the following definition’s will be helpful in navigating American Airlines Pilot Scope.

Commuter Aircraft– This means any aircraft having a US certified Gross Weight of 86,000 lbs or less and a maximum seating of 76 seats. Examples of these aircraft include CRJ 200, 700, 900, ERJ 135, 145 and EMB 170’s. Many EMB 175 variants would not fall into this category as some of their maximum certified gross weights are higher than 86,000 lbs. However, if Eagle or another subsidiary where to operate it with an operational limitation of 86,000 then it could be classified as a Commuter Aircraft.

Fixed Base Operator– any aircraft that seats up to 30 seats and has a maximum payload of capacity of 7,500 lbs. This operation is largely unregulated in Americans Scope, as long as it doesn’t supplant mainline operations. If an aircraft has beyond 7,500 lbs of payload capacity but less than 30 seats it is still fairly unregulated as long as its fleet numbers do not extend beyond 10% of Mainline Narrow-body Aircraft.

Narrow-body Aircraft- Refers to any aircraft having a single aisle and is larger than 76 seats.


Furlough Protection

Cockpit Crew Member Floor– if the number of pilots at AA go below 7300, the Commuter Exception (Regional Scope) can be canceled by APA, following reasonable guidelines. Those guidelines include 90 days for discussion, and a reasonable time to allow for that case to be brought to a conclusion. (This is somewhat open ended but allows for the end of Regional Feed as AA knows it, if mainline pilot ranks drop below 7300).


Block Hour Limitations

Flying nonstop between American’s hubs with Regional Aircraft will be limited to 1.25% of scheduled block hours.

85% of all flying for Regional’s must out of or into a hub. This limits the ability for American to use Regional service as a point to point airlines service.

Baseline Scope As of Date of Signing

30 Seats or less – Unlimited Aircraft

(31-76) Regional Aircraft65% of current Narrow-body Fleet. This number is reflected in a rolling 6 month average. As of this posting this website shows AA with 491 Narrow-Body aircraft.

(66-76) Seat Regional Aircraft25% of current Narrow-body Fleet. This number is also reflected in a rolling 6 month average.

The following table assumes this websites current Narrow-body Aircraft count for AA of 491.


Aircraft Percent Allowed Regional Aircraft Current In fleet
# of 31-76 Seat Aircraft 65% of Narrow-body Aircraft 320 272
# of 66-76 Seat Aircraft 25% of Narrow-body Aircraft 122 None

Note- The CRJ 700 as operated by Eagle has 63 or 65 seats depending on configuration and so would not count as a larger Regional aircraft.


(0-49) Seat Turbo-Props that do not fall under the “Fixed Base Operator” definition are not included in the count as long as the number of (0-49) Seat Turbo-Props is less than 10% of the Mainline Narrow-body fleet. Currently the 10% number where those turbo-props are not counted is (49 Aircraft). If the Airline went to 50 (0-49) turbo-prop aircraft (10% of Narrow-Body), then those aircraft would be incorporated into the 65% Regional Scope Limitation.


Scope as of January 2015

All things remain the same except for the number of allowable 66-76 Seat Regional Aircraft.

30% of Narrowbody Aircraft (491 currently) = 148 Regional Aircraft between 66-76 Seats.

Scope as of January 2016

All things remain the same except for the number of allowable 66-76 Seat Regional Aircraft.

40% of Narrowbody Aircraft (491 currently) = 197 Regional Aircraft between 66-76 Seats.



What does this mean? It directly ties Regional Aircraft fleet counts to Mainline Narrow-body fleet counts. I intend to go into greater detail with a comparison of Delta Airlines and what we have of United’s scope this next week. For now lets look at AA’s scope alone.

The fact that their CRJ 700’s actually fall outside of the realm of the (66-76) Regional Jets, its very possible to see most of their 50 seat regional capacity turned into CRJ 700’s or 65 seat capacity. With a Narrow-body fleet size of 491, after contract signing American could see allowable RJ fleets increased up to 320 from the current 271. Of that 320, 122 could become larger CRJ 900’s or EMB 170’s. To see the full effect of the additional 122 larger Regional Jets, they would need to see a reduction of 72 50 seat aircraft.

After 2015 and into the future, as more 76 aircraft come onto the property American would see a 1 for 1 reduction in smaller aircraft (narrow-body fleet size remains the same). This would continue until 76 seat aircraft were maxed out at 197 Regional Aircraft, and the smaller varients (EMB 145s and CRJ 700) would be reduced down to 123 total airplanes.

This would have Significant ramifications for American Eagle, if they did not receive any additional orders, and those orders went to other competitors. American Eagle has approximately 245 aircraft. To see a reduction in smaller aircraft down to 123 airplanes would be a 50 % reduction over the span of only 5 years! However it is likely that American Eagle will see some of the larger regional aircraft, and thus lessen their anticipated shrinkage.

The interesting thing is that this Scope only allows relatively slight increases in the number of regional aircraft on the property. The largest thing it does is allow American to up gauge the existing feed to more competitive sizes, with that of its competitors.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!