Air Transport World

U.S. REGIONALS' GROWTH UP 7%

The U.S. Regional airline industry continued its impressive record of growth in 1997, carrying 66 million passengers, a 7% annual increase over the previous year, according to figures compiled for RAA by AvStat Assoc. Average industry load factor was 55%, up from 53% for the previous year. RPMs increased 8% to 15.3 billion in 1997.

While airlines' fortunes continued to rise, the number of cities in North America receiving Regional airline service decreased from 782 in 1996 to 766 in 1997, in part because of the 19-seaters leaving the fleet, said AvStat. All told, Regional carriers serve 95% of all the airports receiving commercial airline service. Industry departures completed decreased slightly, to 4. …

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