American Airlines to shift 50 planes and cut jobs at its Envoy regional subsidiary

American Airlines Group Inc. said Friday that it will transfer at least 50 planes away from its Envoy Air unit, leading to more job losses at Envoy.

A spokeswoman wouldn't say how many jobs would be cut. Envoy has about 2,400 pilots.

The company said that beginning next year at least 20 of the 50-seat Embraer jets will be shifted to Piedmont Airlines, which is also owned by American. The rest will go to Trans States Airlines and another outside carrier, which it didn't name.

American has been shrinking Envoy since March, when union pilots rejected a company contract offer that they said included a pay freeze and cuts in benefits. American is trying to limit the cost of its regional service, formerly called American Eagle, partly by outsourcing some of the flying.

Senior vice president Kenji Hashimoto said in a memo to employees that without "a cost-effective pilot agreement," Envoy won't get new planes and will find it hard to recruit new pilots. It is losing about 20 pilots a month to American. The company is moving the planes out of Envoy because of a lack of pilots.