The introduction of a new fleet always brings out some degree of controversy and the surprising decision to purchase regional jets from Embraer in the early 2000's was no exception. Delivery of the original 15 commenced in July 2005 with the arrival of C-FEIQ (Fin #371) and continued in quick succession to January 2006 with arrival of C-FFYG (Fin #385).
The fuel efficient new model ERJ 175 series were acquired at a favourable price and were just the right size to open up new trans-border markets while the company was still going through a restructuring.
Maintenance and the availability of parts were a cause for concern in the chatter I was over hearing. I specifically remember some issues about the aircraft's performance in cold weather (cabin doors freezing etc.).
My first flight on an E175 was in 2007 when I was travelling for IAM training at the Winpisinger Center in Placid Harbor, Maryland. I was excited to fly on this aircraft, even though I had to fly all night from Vancouver to Toronto first (continuing on to Washington D.C.).
Since I was travelling on a business pass, I knew that I had a seat up front and this was also my first opportunity to play with the newly installed Thales entertainment system. I was impressed with the aircraft as it was quite comfortable for a regional jet.
Despite the initial concerns, these 15 aircraft have continued to be workhorses approaching 20 years of service.
Air Canada leased the original aircraft to Sky Regional Airlines in 2013 under a service agreement (another 10 aircraft were then added to the fleet). In a controversial business move, all 25 aircraft were transferred to Jazz Air in 2021 and are currently operating under the Air Canada Express brand.
Click the image below to view an E175 trip report by our favourite videographer, Alex Praglowski (don't forget to subscribe to his YouTube channel).