A review of the North American summer airline schedule continues to showcase the mission versatility of Embraer E-Jets. In addition to the now routine deployment of the aircraft on nonstop sectors in excess of four hours flying time, several carriers are achieving high daily utilization on the iconic New York-Washington-Boston triangle.
Ever since Eastern Airlines started flying B727s on those routes with its famous shuttle schedule, the corridor has attracted a host of airlines in their quest for high-fare paying business travelers who value time, reliability and convenience above all else. While Pan Am, New York Air and the Trump Shuttle have long since disappeared from the three routes, Delta Air Lines and US Airways have demonstrated staying power despite the volatility of the industry and competition from Amtrak’s Acela.
The core elements of the LGA-BOS-DCA shuttle philosophy have not changed but the aircraft have. The B727s and DC9s have been replaced with A319s & A320s and, it may surprise you, with Embraer E-Jets on many of the sectors. Fifty-six times every business day, like clockwork, Delta’s E170s & E175s fly between LGA and DCA and between LGA and BOS. US Airways Shuttle schedules E190s 30 times per day between La Guardia and Boston.
Each airline offers First Class seating in a two-by-one arrangement on its Shuttle aircraft – 12 seats on Delta’s E175 and 11 on US Airways’ E190. The absence of a middle seat in the main cabin is a welcome E-Jet feature by passengers who appreciate the extra space and by airlines that can expedite boarding and deplaning.
Fast turn time is essential to keeping shuttle operations on schedule. E-Jets are designed to be turned in as little as 15 minutes.