United Airlines pilots union maintains restrictions on E175-E2 aircraft

ALPA renewed the agreement with the airline for another two years without changes to the scope clause, which prevents the use of the new Embraer jetliner

The future of the E175-E2 jet became more uncertain with the renewal for another two years of the United Airlines pilot work agreement, announced by ALPA, the Airline Pilots Association, which brings together 14,000 associates linked to the airline.

The union entity obtained more benefits for the crew, including cumulative salary increases of 14.5%, in addition to a new retirement plan, among others.

Unfortunately for Embraer, there were no changes to the scope clause, which prevents United’s regional partner airlines from using planes with more than 76 seats and a maximum takeoff weight of more than 39,000 kg (86,000 lb).

The clause is a way of preserving jobs in large companies, which could then hire employees in affiliates with lower wages, hence the union’s resistance.

It is because of the high weight that the E175-E2 does not meet the clauses, which prevents orders from regional companies such as Skywest, Republic and Mesa, interested in the greater economy of operation of the aircraft.

United Express E175 (Andrew E. Cohen/CC)

Program suspended until 2028

Embraer developed the E175-E2 with the hope that the rules would be relaxed, but that scenario never came close. The aircraft performed its maiden flight in December 2019, with no customers at the time following the order freeze.

While the deal is for United pilots only, and still pending a vote, the scope clauses are expected to be maintained on other airlines such as American, Delta and Alaska.

Already foreseeing difficulties, Embraer suspended the E175-E2 program and postponed the forecast for entry into service to 2027 or 2028.

However, the Brazilian manufacturer currently has the only regional jet that meets the rules, the first-generation E175, which has become the most successful variant of the E-Jet family.

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