Air Transport World

Regionals' reach.(Regional Airlines)(Editorial)

The volume of background noise in the airline business over the past several years has been so loud that it tends to obscure evolving underlying business themes. Regionals, however, are getting too big to miss.

There is no need to recite the lengthy list of events that produced this background volume other than to add the unexpected and damaging fuel price hike as the most recent. Undoubtedly these events have jacked up the pressure on airline business plans, substantially accelerating the evolutionary process-now rather than later.

One clear development in the US, and in Europe to a lesser extent, is the Regional airlines' growing importance and potential independent competitive power, moving from the classic role of small-market support for larger carriers unable to go so small to the newer and fast-growing substitution role as legacy airlines pull back further into their core business. …

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