I don't think anyone seriously expects United to order the CS100, even United. It will be the CS300. Remember, it isn't going to be laid out for all coach seating. It will have First, Econ plus, and economy, and if they aren't wise enough to plan floor space for galleys to do meals, and some extra storage as well as flexibility for down the road needs, it will come back to bite them. This new management is considerably smarter than Smisek and the PennyPinchers. It's completely within the realm of possibilities that they also actually paid some attention to the recent galley/lavatory debacle at Widgetville and took note that reducing things down to "Lavatories are located at the front and rear of the AIRPORT" does not actually work and some need to be onboard the aircraft, as does space nearby so that passerngers can successfully maneuver in and out without having to mount one another.
So, no, there will be no surprise to me or most of the industry when it is just CS300s. You wait and see.
As to Embraer, there lines are busy filling the 175 orders for the regionals, United won't want to interrupt that, they need to keep that process flowing smoothly. (And no, there are zero economies of scale in United ordering from Embraer to capture. United has no skin in the game, they don't do EMB 175 maintenance, have spares, or gain from pilot experience to speak of... they'll do just as well with CS300 aircraft in their own fleet.)
Two last pieces: one, seriously, this isn't an aircraft purchase that has anything to do with transcontinental range - not remotely. It just isn't. That's the mission for the 319. And they have those. This plane is feeder service, it will do tons of flights from cities all around and into SFO
. It isn't going to do the long stuff. It doesn't need to. So range, gang, is really, really irrelevant. It needs a couple thousand miles. That's it. Let it go. It's a big RJ
- that's all. Stop glorifying it, this isn't for missions like the 787. It's just not.
Second, I am quietly betting that we will soon see an announcement that after rethinking galley, lavatory, and other needs, cabins will be refit on the 319 fleet, and include an expansion of first class to include more than the paltry 8 seats.