Piedmont Airlines is one of the largest operators of the ERJ 145, a 50-seat regional jet produced by Embraer until 2020. The US regional airline is a subsidiary of American Airlines and inherited the famous name in 1993.
Philadelphia-based Piedmont currently flies a large fleet of 51 ERJ jets, but in light of high demand, the company announced this week that it will receive 15 more of these aircraft from American’s regional division Envoy Air, bringing the total to 66 planes.
“Our Piedmont team’s outstanding performance throughout the pandemic period is being rewarded with a significant investment in the expansion and life of our fleet,” said Eric Morgan, Piedmont CEO. “With a strong increase in pilot hiring, including a significant number of Direct Entry Captains, we are confident we can continue to staff and reliably operate an expanded fleet.”
In June, Piedmont reached an agreement with the US pilots’ union, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), in which a real increase in crew salaries was established, as well as incentives for hired employees from other companies.
The result was a 100% increase in the number of candidates for vacancies in the company and a 400% increase in captains interested in being part of Piedmont. The expectation is to hire more than 400 pilots and 300 flight attendants by the end of 2022.
The regional currently has two hubs, in Philadelphia and also in Charlotte. Piedmont operates a daily network of 250 flights and took delivery of its first ERJ 145 in 2019.
The Piedmont brand was famous in the United States, but on behalf of another company, founded in 1948, but which was taken over by USAir in 1989.
The current airline was created as Henson Airlines in 1962. Piedmont acquired the small company and transformed it into ‘Henson, The Piedmont Regional Airline’ in 1983.
The decision to rename it “Piedmont Airlines” was taken by USAir as a way of protecting the brand, which was about to become available if not used.
USAir changed its name to US Airways in 1997, but was taken over by American Airlines in 2015, which then inherited Piedmont.
Among some achievements of Piedmont Airlines is being the launch customer of the Boeing 737-400 in 1988.