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Regional airlines in the United States - statistics & facts

A hallmark of modern life, air travel exerted various business patterns to fulfil the demands and desires of people. As a distinct business type, regional airlines operate mostly in partnership with international airlines. Regional aviation helps to enlarge airline connectivity in the U.S. by offering major air carriers the possibility to increase their market share. In simple terms, regional airlines perform as a private entity or subsidiary of major air carriers to deliver services to the hubs of major airlines, such as American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Besides, regional airlines perform on smaller passenger aircraft, with a seat range from 20 to 100. This kind of air carriers facilitate people living in remote communities to get connected to larger airports, thus, enabling passengers to benefit from the global aviation network.

Operational performance during the coronavirus pandemic

The search for an optimal business model in regional aviation continued since the 1940s and experienced multidimensional changes. Without a unique market trend, the operational performance of U.S. regional airlines was greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, the total number of passengers carried by regional carriers was halved, reaching only 73.3 million passengers enplaned in the U.S. in 2020. During that period, the number of daily departures decreased by roughly 38.5 percent, while the passenger load factor and revenue passenger miles also took a hit.

Leading regional airlines in the U.S.

Similar to the aggregate industry results, the disaggregated firm dynamics in U.S. regional airlines look quite alike with diverging trends. As the market leader, SkyWest’s passenger traffic declined over the recent decade, down to 36.6 million travelers transported in 2021. Other regional air carriers also reported reduced passenger operations. Passengers carried by PSA Airlines decreased to eight million in 2020, while Mesa Airlines' passenger traffic experienced a 55 percent decrease and reached only 6.8 million in that same year.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 21 most important statistics relating to "Regional airlines in the United States".


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