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American Eagle Airlines’ downsizing will not affect Watertown flights

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WATERTOWN — The planned downsizing of American Eagle Airlines’s fleet will not affect flights out of Watertown International Airport, according to a company spokesman.

After its pilots union last week rejected a 10-year contract proposal that included a pay freeze until 2018, the airline announced it would have to shrink its fleet.

The Wall Street Journal reported that American Airlines Group Inc. is considering reducing the regional carrier’s fleet of 225 aircraft by more than 100 by retiring or moving smaller, less-efficient aircraft to other carriers.

American Airlines spokesman Todd Lehmacher said, however, that this “does not impact service between Watertown and Philadelphia.”

Embraer 140s, which currently are used for flights between Watertown and Chicago, are scheduled for retirement.

The airline will use a different jet starting May 8, when the flight destination is moved to Philadelphia International Airport.

“The service to Philadelphia will be operated by Air Wisconsin on behalf of US Airways Express with 50-seat CRJ200 aircraft. The service then transitions after the summer to a 37-seat turboprop aircraft, Dash-8, operated by Piedmont Airlines, still US Airways Express,” Mr. Lehmacher said in an email to the Times.

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