Canada’s Bombardier Commercial Aircraft has announced the development of the CRJ550 aircraft.
The manufacturer claims the jet will be the “first triple-class 50-seat aircraft in the world designed to meet the expectations of today’s passengers”. The aircraft will be based upon the larger CRJ700 but will have its own type certificate. The reveal of the latest variant of the popular regional jet family was boosted by a launch order from United Airlines.
Fred Cromer, president Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said: “The new CRJ550 model is the only solution in North America that can replace the existing fleets of ageing 50-seaters, a market of over 700 aircraft. The new variant offers an improved passenger experience with ample on-board storage for carry-on bags and more overall cabin space. This is one more example of how we are focusing on creating value for our customers and a very important endorsement from United with regards to the CRJ platform.”
United Airlines said that by the end of this year, subject to regulatory approvals, it will be revolutionising the regional flying experience with the planned introduction of the first of 50, 50-seat CRJ550 aircraft to its regional fleet. The airline said these jets will be the only 50-seat aircraft in the world to offer true first-class seating, while throughout the cabin passengers will enjoy more legroom per seat than any other 50-seat aircraft flown by any US carrier.
The two-cabin CRJ550 being planned by United will feature ten United first, 20 economy plus and 20 economy seats and will eventually replace existing single-class aircraft, bringing more options to smaller cities across the carrier’s network. United expects that its regional partner, GoJet will start operating the CRJ550 during the second half of this year – subject to agreement of final terms and conditions – on selected routes from Chicago/O’Hare, followed by Newark/New York. United said it would be offering its customers connecting through both hubs “the opportunity to enjoy a premium cabin experience at every step of their journey”.