Regional airlines face closings, bankruptcy –

Posted: August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Passengers hopscotching across the U.S. may book their trip on one of the major airlines such as United, but it’s often smaller, regional carriers with such names as Colgan Air that do the flying.


Regional airlines operate half the nation’s scheduled flights and are often the link between smaller communities and the national air service network.

But now, several of those carriers are being closed or are in bankruptcy court protection. They face significant challenges, as the big airlines they often fly for are phasing out smaller and costlier regional jets and cutting some low-traffic regional routes to focus on those that are more lucrative.

As a result, many smaller communities may lose some or all of their air service, and their residents will have to take longer drives to find a flight.

“We’re going to see some airports go dark,” says William Swelbar, research engineer for MIT’s International Center for Air Transportation. “The highway is going to be the connection to the air network system.”

Delta, the largest operator of 50-seat aircraft among U.S. airlines, will shutter regional carrier Comair after Sept. 29. Pinnacle Airlines, with subsidiaries such as Colgan that have flown for United, US Airways and Delta, filed for bankruptcy protection in April. AMR, the parent company of American Airlines and regional carrier American Eagle, filed for bankruptcy protection in November.

“Airlines are finding these smaller jets just don’t make them any money,” says industry analyst Mike Boyd. “That’s why they’re shutting down Comair. That’s why Pinnacle is in bankruptcy. It’s a sector of (the) industry that provides a type of aircraft that’s rapidly becoming obsolete.”

via Regional airlines face closings, bankruptcy –


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