Today, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced the official launch of the new CRJ550 aircraft, which will be the first 50-seat aircraft with three classes in the world designed to meet the expectations of today’s passengers. United Airlines was chosen to be the launch customer of this new model.
Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, released this statement about the launch:
“The new CRJ550 model is the only solution in North America that can replace the existing fleet of ageing 50-seaters, a market of over 700 aircraft. It offers improved passenger experience with ample onboard storage for carry-on bags and more passenger living space. This is one more example of how we are focusing on creating value for our customers and a very important endorsement from United in regards to the CRJ platform.”
The CRJ550 is a new CRJ Series aircraft model, with a type certificate based on the CRJ700. This aircraft will feature a self-serve beverage and snack station instead of a galley and more overall legroom per seat.
With this new addition, the CRJ Series is the only family of regional aircraft that can offer 3-class cabin across all market segments, while meeting the current operational requirements. One of the key benefits for the US operators will be to leverage the cockpit commonality from the CRJ200 to the CRJ900.
United Airlines unveiled the new 50-seat regional jet that will represent a new era in the regional jet market. These jets will be equivalent in size to the CRJ-700 but features 30% less seats. United has ordered 50 of them.
The two-cabin CRJ 550 will feature 10 United First seats; 20 Economy Plus seats and 20 Economy seats. The CRJ 550 aircraft will eventually replace existing single-cabin 50-seat aircraft and will bring a higher percentage of two-cabin departures to smaller cities across the carrier’s network. Additionally, the innovative aircraft will enable United to offer premium seats on more connecting flights from smaller cities to the airline’s overall global network.
United expects that its regional partner GoJet will begin operating the CRJ 550 in the second half of this year – subject to agreement on final terms and conditions – on select routes from Chicago, O’Hare followed by Newark/New York.
What are you making out of this interesting move by Bombardier? Only less than a month after Bombardier’s CEO admitted the fate of CRJ program is yet to be decided.