Paris, France - United Airlines has signed a contract with Embraer at the Paris Air Show for the purchase of twenty E175 jets, with options for further nineteen aircraft of the same type.
United is one the largest operators of the Embraer E175. Its subsidiary, United Express is operating more than 150 E175 on the airline's regional routes.
The plane is the first generation E175 with 70 seats on board. Embraer is now working on a new variant of the aircraft, the E175-E2, which is considerably more efficient than the E175-E1.
But the larger E175-E2 is not commercially interesting for the U.S carriers due to the "Scope Clauses" agreed with trade unions.
A scope clause is part of a contract between an airline and a pilot union that limit the number and size of aircraft that may be flown by the regional subsidiary of that airline.
The goal of the agreement is to prevent the jobs of the union pilots from being outsourced.
In the United States, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines limit their regional jets with 76 seats and a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) at 86,000 lb (39 t).
This limit prevents major US carriers to order larger regional jets such as E175-E2 or MRJ90 (Space Jet).
There are several independent regional airlines flying on behalf of United Airlines under the United Express brand. United has not revealed yet how the new planes will be distributed among those operators.