MidAtlantic Airways, US Airways’ new regional jet division, has taken to the skies with initial routes from both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. MidAtlantic will operate using US Airways’ newest 72-seat Embraer 170 regional jets. The new division, currently based in Pittsburgh, will have three Embraer 170 regional jets operating on eight routes in April, increasing to 13 in May, and with 24 routes expected by June, as MidAtlantic continues to take delivery of the Embraer 170 aircraft.
“We are very excited to welcome MidAtlantic and its brand-new fleet of 72-seat regional aircraft to the US Airways Express network,” said US Airways Express President Bruce Ashby. “These larger regional jets bring us a range of fleet planning opportunities, as they fill the gap between 50-seat and 120-seat fleet types, allowing us to better match supply in existing markets. They also will enable us to add flights in markets US Airways currently does not serve.”
MidAtlantic is the U.S. launch customer of the Embraer 170 regional jet. By year-end, the airline expects to take delivery of 39 aircraft, manufactured by Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica of Brazil, as part of US Airways’ regional jet order announced in May 2003.
To maximize cabin spaciousness without compromising storage area, the Embraer 170 features an elliptical, or ‘double-bubble,’ cross-section instead of the traditional circular fuselage. The double-bubble geometry uses intersecting circles, tied together by the fuselage floor, providing superior passenger comfort in the form of a larger passenger cabin with maximized cabin width at shoulder level, which offers more room around the passengers’ shoulders and feet, eliminates the middle seats and facilitates access to overhead baggage bins.
Under a “Jets for Jobs” agreement with US Airways’ pilots, 100 percent of MidAtlantic’s flying will be done by furloughed US Airways pilots. MidAtlantic flight attendant positions are also filled by furloughed US Airways flight attendants. MidAtlantic currently has 244 employees, 229 of which had been previously furloughed by USÊAirways.
MidAtlantic Airways, a division of US Airways Group, Inc., will operate 16 flights daily, serving nine destinations in the eastern U.S. in April 2004. The airline, based in Pittsburgh, has a total of 244 employees.