Last week's posting about the soon-to-be phasing out of regional jets prompted these comments and questions from SGFpilot:
"Yeah for bigger jets at SGF!! That's always exciting. DO you think it will be the bigger 70-90seat RJ's like the CRJ-900 and Embraer 170/190 replacing the 50 seat CRJ-200's and EMB-145? OR will it be out with the RJ's alltogether and some Airbus A-318's, 737's, MD-80/DC-9's coming in? Any insight?"
It's hard to say exactly what will replace the 50-seats-or-less regional jets (RJs) in Springfield, but here are some candidates:
- Embraer E-170, E-175, E-190. Street name: E-Jets. These three planes are essentially bigger versions of the 50 seat ERJs. These bigger planes typically seat between 70 and 110 passengers
- Mitsubishi Regional Jet. Street name: MRJ. Brand new design. Seats: between 70 and 90. Earlier this summer the biggest regional airline, SkyWest, committed to buying up to 100 MRJs.
- Boeing 717. It's fairly clear that Delta intends to replace many of its RJs with the 717s it's aquiring from Southwest. 717s typically have 117 seats.
- Less likely candidate to replace RJs in Springfield: 737s (any variant).
- Even less likely candidates to replace RJs in Springfield: Sukhoi Superjet, and the Fokker 70.
- What we won't see: more MD-80s, or DC-9s.
I suspect many of you are happy with the thought of bigger jets. But there is a down side: fewer flights...
Example: right now American has seven daily flights to Dallas. Let's assume that all these flights are on 50 seat aircraft. That's a total of 350 seats a day. Suppose American switched to 90 seat jets. It would only need four flights a day to carry the same number of people. The reduction in flights means that travelers have less flexibility flying to/from Dallas.