Envoy Air aircraft operating as American Eagle. Photography courtesy of Envoy Air.
On September 7th, Envoy announced plans to open a crew and maintenance base in Phoenix. The base will be located at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX). Envoy's presence in Phoenix is to support American Airlines' regional routes with their 76-seat Embraer 175 aircraft. According to Envoy Air, they operate 800 daily flights for American Airlines under the American Eagle brand. Phoenix will be Envoy's farthest west base. Prior to this announcement, Dallas was Envoy's westernmost crew base.
The Phoenix base will give Envoy a chance to dip their toes in the water of west coast routes.
Previously, West Coast regional pilots and flight attendants sought employment at Skywest Airlines, Horizon Air, or Mesa Airlines due to their domiciles in the western United States. Envoy's new base will attract more pilots living in the western states.
Amid a nationwide pilot shortage, this news will increase applications at Envoy Air. Dee Temples, Envoy's Senior Vice President of Air Operations, stated "Establishing a new base is not just a milestone achievement for Envoy, but also a commitment to our current and future employees who call Arizona, California and other west coast states home.". Earlier in 2022, Envoy Air was one of the first regional airlines to double salaries to assist recruiting efforts. The increased pay and opening of the Phoenix base are monumental in attracting and retaining pilots.
Crew bases are one of the most important factors pilots consider when choosing an airline to fly for. Living in or near your crew base will significantly increase your quality of life. Significantly less time is spent commuting to work. In addition, crew members can also save money on hotels or a "crash pad". Many times, commuters must fly to their base a day before work or a day after work because there are no flights the day of. Commuting crew will often pay for a hotel room or rent a crash pad, which is essentially a house where crewmembers pay rent for a bed to sleep in at their base city. Living at base eliminates this expense.
Envoy's plans of opening a base in Phoenix will make the airline more appealing to pilots, flight attendants, and mechanics living in the west. With crew bases now in Phoenix, Dallas, Chicago, and Miami, Envoy Air is now an option for most pilots in the United States due to their bases located across the country.