Mainline carrier mergers have led to shrinking or disappearing hubs. Rising fuel costs have sucked the profitability out of the 50-seat regional jet markets. The rapid increase in passenger count of the last 15 years is over. In short: The U.S. regional airline industry has to look outward for new opportunities to grow. But the environment, while challenging, is not without opportunity. Changes in airline scope clauses mean shifts to larger regional jets (RJs)—just what regionals need as ...

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