Earlier this year, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced the official launch of the new CRJ-550 aircraft; this will be the first 50-seat aircraft with three classes in the world designed to meet the expectations of today’s passengers. United Airlines is the launch customer of the new CRJ-550.
United have already decided the routes of the new Bombardier CRJ-550 and tickets for those flights are on sale.
Initially, the CRJ-550 will fly between Chicago O’Hare and:
- Allentown, Pennsylvania (ABE)
- Bentonville, Arkansas (XNA)
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CID)
- Cincinnati (CVG)
- Columbus, Ohio (CMH)
- Des Moines, Iowa (DSM)
- Grand Rapids, Michigan (GRR)
- Greensboro, North Carolina (GSO)
- Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (MDT)
- Indianapolis, Indiana (IND)
- Madison, Wisconsin (MSN)
- Oklahoma City (OKC)
- Richmond, Virginia (RIC)
- St. Louis, Missouri (STL)
- Tulsa, Oklahoma (TUL)
The shortest route is to Madison, with a distance of 109 miles, and the longest one is to Oklahoma City, with a distance of 693 miles. The average range is 401 miles.
CRJ-550 is a new CRJ Series aircraft model, with a type certificate based on the CRJ-700. The maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) is decreased to 15,590kg and the maximum range is decreased to 1,447km.
United has 50 CRJ-550 on order to fly on routes to small cities but with high business passenger ratio. The plan starts with Chicago (ORD) and will expand to New York/Newark (EWR) and Washington Dulles (IAD).
United CRJ-550 equips 10 Business Class seats, 20 Economy Plus seats and 20 Economy Class seats. A unique feature to notice is that the aircraft is also equipped with four storage units, which can eliminate checking luggage at the gate and allow passengers to board with small suitcases. WiFi and USB charging ports are also available throughout the cabin.
Before the CRJ-550, United had just reconfigured 17 Boeing B767-300ERs to increase the Business Class from 30 seats to 46 seats. There are also rumours that United will get Boeing 737MAX-10s, with full-flat Business Class seats, to fly transcontinental flights. Now getting the first 50-seat regional aircraft with just 20 seats in Economy, United seems to be focusing on premium markets and chasing a higher yield.
Are you looking forward to experiencing this new aircraft? How do you feel about adding more premium seats?