Regional airlines operate in countries worldwide, typically flying domestic or short international routes. They play an important role in commercial aviation today. For example it may not be feasible for U.S. airline Delta to operate from one city to another city, but a regional airline like SkyWest may have the perfect aircraft to do so efficiently. Or in Europe it might not be economically practical for British Air to operate out of er UK airports to fly to er airports on the continent, but that might be just right for Ryanair. Regional airlines worldwide employ a very large number of pilots; it's often the first job a professional pilot will have after flight school.
Here's some recent changes in regional airlines in the U.S: SkyWest Airlines, the largest regional carrier group in the U.S., has signed a merger agreement with ExpressJet Holdings, the country's third largest regional airline. This will give the company 30% of U.S. regional passengers. With ExpressJet, SkyWest would be the largest provider of regional passenger feed to Continental, Delta and United airlines. SkyWest new total fleet would be 696 aircraft.
Pinnacle Airlines, which is the fifth largest carrier, has acquired Mesaba Aviation (the ninth largest regional airline in the U.S.) from Delta Air Lines. The combined company now has 282 aircraft.
Republic Airways, which was the second largest U.S. regional carrier at the end of last year, now operates three regional airlines, including Frontier airlines and Midwest Airlines. Republic's fleet consists of 177 aircraft. The airline has also signed a letter of intent to buy 24 99-seat Embraer 190 and 195 aircraft.
These three airlines above represent 47% of U.S. regional enplanements. As you can see by these numbers, regional airlines are an important part of commercial aviation today. If you'd like information on how you can learn to fly to be a pilot in one of the world's excellent regional airlines, contact www.pea.com or call 1-800-868-4359 (U.S.) or 1-386-258-0703 (worldwide).