, introduced in 1984
, is the regional counterpart of American Airlines
, connecting smaller cities to AA's hub
s with turboprop
s and regional jet
s. The name was actually used for the first time during American's transcontinental services in the 1930's, when they started naming the flights in an attempt to up their glamor factor: planes were called American Eagle
, American Mercury
, and American Arrow
At first, Eagle's flights were operated by three independent companies: Flagship Airlines on the East Coast, Simmons Airlines in the Midwest, and Executive Airlines in the Caribbean. AA just sold the tickets. In the mid-1990's, however, AMR Corporation (AA's parent company) bought out the operators and merged the three airlines into one, later absorbing another regional airline, Business Express, which remains separately operated. Executive regained its operating independence in 2002.
Eagle's planes carry a livery similar to American's, but with the fuselage painted white instead of silver, and with a large red and blue eagle on the tail instead of American's AA logo.
Today, American Eagle, when it is treated separately from AA, is the largest regional airline in the world. It has a fleet of 293 aircraft carrying 13 million passengers a year between 132 cities in 12 countries. They operate the Bombardier CRJ-700, Embraer ERJ-135, and Embraer ERJ-145 jets, as well as the ATR 72, ATR 42, and Saab 340 turboprops. Along with American, Eagle is a member of the oneworld alliance.