The regional carrier PSA Airlines has temporarily removed most of its aircraft from service to complete a standard inspection. This measure is impacting American Airlines’ connectivity because PSA has a fleet of 130 Bombardier aircraft, many of which operate its regional routes.
What’s going on?
PSA Airlines is an American regional airline flying under the American Eagle brand for American Airlines. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group. In a tweet, American Airlines said,
“We’re working to accommodate our mutual PSA Airlines customers as quickly as possible.” The airline added that passengers can check their flight status on its website.
According to Planespotters.net, PSA Airlines has 130 airplanes. It has 61 Bombardier CRJ-700 and 69 Bombardier CRJ-900. According to airline geeks.com, up to 122 flights operated by PSA Airlines are canceled.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
Grounded out of an abundance of caution
A few days ago, the Federal Aviation Administration published an airworthiness directive for the Bombardier BD-100-1A10 airplanes. It has been in effect since January 27, 2021.
According to the FAA, the AD “was prompted by a report that corrosion was found on the shock strut cylinders during unscheduled maintenance of the nose landing gear.”
This corrosion was found on the Bombardier BD-100-1A10 airplanes, that is the Bombardier 300 Challenger. It has been reported that American Airlines grounded PSA’s fleet due to this issue, despite not being related to the CRJ family. Nevertheless, American Airlines has told Simple Flying that this is not the case.
In a statement sent to Simple Flying, an American Airlines spokesman said,
“Out of an abundance of caution, PSA Airlines has temporarily removed most of its aircraft from service in order to complete a necessary, standard inspection on the nose gear door. We are working with PSA and the FAA to immediately address the issue. We are working with our customers to arrange new accommodations on other flights and we are working to return the impacted aircraft to service.”
A brief history of PSA Airlines
PSA Airlines was founded in 1995. It has its hub in Charlotte Douglas International Airport, in North Carolina.
The airline promotes itself as an “all-jet fleet consisting of exclusively Bombardier regional jet aircraft.” Before the pandemic, it had over 5,000 employees and operated more than 800 daily flights to nearly 100 destinations, on behalf of American Airlines.
PSA Airlines also has crew bases in Cincinnati, Dayton, Knoxville, Norfolk, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. Plus, it has maintenance hangars in these cities and Canton/Akron, Greenville-Spartansburg, Pensacola, and Savannah.
Its fleet is solely composed of Bombardier aircraft. The CRJ-700 has a passenger capacity of up to 76 seats, while the CRJ-900 can carry up to 79 passengers, according to American’s website.
This regional carrier is one of the three subsidiaries American Airlines Group operates for its American Eagle brand. The other two are Envoy Air and Piedmont Airlines.
In 2020, American Airlines Group had total operating revenues of US$17.3 billion, while posting a full-year net loss of US$8.9 billion. The company expects 2021 will be a year of recovery. Doug Parker, American Airlines Chairman and CEO said,
“As we look to the year ahead, 2021 will be a year of recovery. While we don’t know exactly when passenger demand will return, as vaccine distribution takes hold and travel restrictions are lifted, we will be ready. We are confident that the actions we have taken to improve our customer experience, enhance our network, and increase our efficiency position us well for the future.”
How long do you expect American Airlines to keep the fleet grounded? Let us know in the comments.