Regional airlines in the United States - Statistics & Facts

In the United States, a regional airline is a term used in describing air carriers with annual operating revenue below 100 million U.S. dollars operating regional aircraft that provide service to small remote areas and communities in which demand is not sufficient enough to attract mainline service. There are over sixty certified regional carriers in the U.S.

In 2017, Utah-based SkyWest Airlines was the regional airline with the highest added number of commercial aircraft. In that year, 21 more aircraft were added to their fleet although their fleet size number had dropped from 652 operating aircraft in 2016 to 595 the following year. In 2018, the projected number of regional carrier aircraft in the U.S. commercial aircraft fleet is expected to be around 2,080 aircraft.

Regional airlines usually operate either as an affiliated airline, under contract with a major airline or under its own brand as an independent airline serving smaller areas. Some of the other leading regional airlines in the U.S. include: Envoy Air, PSA Airlines and MESA Airlines. In 2017, the total number of passengers carried by Envoy Air amounted to just under 11.8 million passengers and accounted for the largest system cost per available seat mile in 2016. Envoy Air is currently a subsidiary of American Airlines Group.

Founded in 1975, the Regional Airline Association (RAA) is the official collective bargaining voice for regional airlines nationwide. Some of the leading regional aircraft manufacturers worldwide include: Embraer, Bombardier, ATR, Sukhoi, and Comac. Compass Airlines was ranked the number one most punctual regional airline in December 2017.

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