Why Regional Jets are great


SkyWest Airlines (Delta Connection) (St. George) will start the Salt Lake City-Arcata/Eureka, CA route on June 5. It will be operated for Delta Air Lines (Atlanta) with Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets.

(from Jetphotos.net)

This is one reason why I think regional jets are one of the best things to happen to the airline industry in the past several years.

For as far back as I can tell by looking at old airline timetables and Official Airline Guides as far back as the 1940’s, the only way go get out of Eureka was to go north or south. Now, with this option, there is a third, more logical way: go east.

With the relatively low passenger counts out of Eureka, this would not be possible with larger jets such as the 737 and A319. Regional jets, in my oh-so-humble-and-quite-often-not-wrong-when-it-comes-to-commercial-aviation opinion, has created the opportunities for new routes.

Same thing for a city I use to live in: Yuma, Arizona. For decades, the way to get out of town was to go to Phoenix or Los Angeles. There was occasionally commuter airlines such as Apache that would take you nonstop to Tucson but that didn’t happen to often.

Just a few days ago, I found out that Yumans now have the opportunity to connect in SLC rather than LAX or PHX.

On several lists I belong to there are people (seems to be almost a majority) that hate the regional jets. Me? I say bring 'em on. Let’s get more point-to-point service.


ExpressJet is doing just that, too. When they started flying into KSAN, they opened up 8 new nonstops that nobody else was doing at the time. Horizon had tried KSAN-KBOI on a CRJ7, but dropped it after a few months. Western Pacific (remember them??) did KCOS from here, but of course went under. I don’t know what xjet is doing differently, but it seems to be working, as they’ve upped frequency on a couple of those runs, and also have now added KSBA nonstop. I guess the experience they have from running CO Express all this time helps as well. But as of right now, I’d say Southwest remains the all-time point-to-point king, at least from here anyways.


Western Pacific went under due to management’s stupidity.

They had a great operation using COS (Colorado Springs, CO) as a hub. Then, for some unknown reason, they moved their hub to DEN (Denver, CO). That was just plain stupid. Going from hardly any competition to competing against two of the nation’s largest airlines. United had a major hub there and Continental at that time also had a major hub in DEN.

How many remember that it was Western Pacific that began the logo jets in a big way?

I think xjet is going to do good. They are currently losing money on their independent operations but if they expand slowly and smartly they will make money.

My mom flew them from ONT to GEG (Spokane, WA). She thought it was great. My sister is planning on flying them from GEG to LGB (Long Beach, CA) in August.

I wish they would come here to OAK (Oakland, CA). They would be a good compliment to Southwest and JetBlue because they wouldn’t be flying to the same cities. I think some good cities from OAK for them would be cities in Oregon outside of PDX (Portland), Washington State (outside of GEG and SEA (Seattle), COS, and, in the winter time at least, the Colorado ski resorts like Steamboat Springs.


Funny, I had mostly forgotten about WP. Their move to Denver was rather stupid.

I remember way back, before the internet, when I saw this for the first time (in person)…


HAHA yeah I remember that one…
How many people out there saw that particular 737, and was somehow reminded of Hughes AirWest??? guilty 8)


In places like Springfield IL, the thing that killed us up until about 5 years ago was the public perception of "prop jobs’. Allbeit none were piston, all were twins, and many were newer than the legacies’ jet fleets at the time, but that perception that that big prop sitting out there was unsafe, and a ‘puddlejumper’ made the RJ’s arrival the arrival of “jetservice” again. Previously AA operated the F100 for about a year in the early 90’s and then before that the late great Ozark flew diesel 9s, Britt and Air Illinois flew the BAC-111’s in the 80s.

On the otherhand, when we had 19 seat turboprop service, we had 12 flights a day to each destination (ORD,STL) and at one point 6 to Chicago Meigs, and now, although we’re exclusively jet, we have 2 ERJ’s to STL, 4 CRJ’s to ORD, and 1 CRJ to IAD. We also just lost our twice weekly MD80 to LAS. So the loss is the convienience of a flight virtually every hour.


One advantage is definitely the connection of smaller cities to hubs outside their region.

For example GRR-DFW and IAH couldn’t happen without RJ’s. A ton of northern cities now have ATL service that they didn’t have before (often at the expense of CVG service). Basically it has made each hub’s “region” potentially much larger.