Rural Air Service To Continue To Shrink With Small Airliner Retirements
By the end of 2023, as many as a dozen airports in the Northwest will be reduced to being able to support no more than one commercial flight daily, due to continued retirements of uneconomic small airliners.
It's a continuation of a process in place for over 30 years, and cannot be reversed due to cost, consumer patterns and economic realities.
In just 7 minutes, Unscripted outlines the contining decline in rural and small community air service due to increasing cost of small airliner operations. From a fleet capacity floor of 19 seats at major network carrier systems in the 1980s, changes in communication channels and the raw costs of airline operation have now raised that to 65-76 seats. In this process, more 50-seat jets are declining in economic viability. The traffic bar for supporting scheduled commercial service is continuing to exceed the ability of some communities to attract any scheduled flights at their local airport.