Observations and Potential Impacts of Regional Jet Operating Trends
Author(s)Mozdzanowska, A.; Hansman, R. J.
Airlines are increasingly using regional jets to better match aircraft size to high value demand markets, and reduce labor costs. This has been especially important due to the increased pressure on the industry following September 11th 2001, because airlines see regional jets as a major part of their financial recovery plan. The increase in regional jets represents a significant change from traditional air traffic patterns and airline business models. To investigate the possible impacts of this change, this study analyzed the economic characteristics of regional jets, and well as the emerging flight patterns and performance of regional jets compared to traditional jets and turboprops. It was found that regional airlines have lower crew costs per number of block hours and take offs, but higher crew cost per ASMs and RPMs. As a result, the revenues at regional airlines are more susceptible to changes in crew cost. It was also observed that regional jets operate differently then traditional jets. Regional jets increase the number of operations at airports and in the take off tracks around airports, which may result in increased congestion. Regional jets were also observed to exhibit lower climb rates than traditional jets, which may negatively impact air traffic control handling and sector design. Given the possible economic and operational problems associated with regional jets, their growth may pose unanticipated problems.
Aviation Management Education and Research Conference ( AMERC), Montreal, July 2003.
regional jets, labor costs, air transportation