American Eagle Airlines — a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines — has been working on a name change for a while in an effort to distinguish itself from American Eagle — the broader name for AA’s regional jet service also used by subcontractors like Republic Airlines. (HT to The Dallas Morning News)
It’s unusual these days for a large domestic airline like AA to actually own its regional jet operator since usually all of it is subcontracted. I would think it might be more sensible to just expand American Eagle Airlines (doing away with the distinction between brand and carrier) or spin off American Eagle Airlines (relying entirely on subcontractors). But a name change would probably help, too.
Unless that new name happens to be the same as the premium international business class product of your new merger partner.
American Eagle Airlines will be changing its name to Envoy, and American Eagle-branded flights will eventually be updated to say “American Eagle – operated by Envoy.” I don’t have anything against the name, per se, but US Airways already uses Envoy to describe its international business class on its Airbus A330 aircraft.
I had the chance to visit the Envoy lounge in PHL a couple years back and was very impressed. Even One Mile at a Time says that, despite relatively poor service, the hard product of the Envoy business class is top notch. My guess is that the Envoy name will eventually be retired at US Airways as the integration continues with American Airlines, and it probably won’t cause that much confusion for customers before then. But it did make me giggle when I read the news. 😉