The Issue is Air Service

LANSING, MI - This year’s annual National Air Service Conference, hosted here by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and its Great Lakes Chapter, drew some 75 attendees and included a comprehensive agenda focused on flushing out the...

On the question of whether or not 50-seat regional jets (RJs) are a dying breed, Lopez remarks, “Oil where it’s at, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to work with that airplane from a planning perspective. Carriers are going to get more aggressive with pulling some of that capacity out, but the RJs won’t disappear.”

Canitano agrees, stating, “They are going to be around, but I think what you are going to see is RJs across the industry being allocated differently. I don’t think you’re going to be seeing the 1,300 mile RJ flight any longer. Instead of trying to have three or four flights on that stage length, [carriers] are going to try and do two with potentially larger aircraft.

“So there’s going to be some tradeoffs. I think what you’ll see is the RJ move back towards it’s intended role, which is it will connect from small and medium-sized communities into the bigger hubs, and it’s going to be shorter haul.”

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