You won’t be surprised to know that Mitsubishi Aircraft is closely monitoring the impacts of COVID-19 on the regional aviation sector. In this post and others to come, we intend to share what we’re seeing as part of our commitment to helping the industry understand the current and ongoing impacts of disruptions that were hard to imagine just a few months ago.
It’s self-evident that this is a remarkable event in terms of the scale and impact across commercial aviation. That said – and with the caveat that these remain the early days of a still-unfolding event – our analysis indicates that regional aviation has so far proven to be resilient relative to the overall sector, and that past disruptive events offer signs of hope and strength on the other side of a difficult period.
Examining the four major U.S. network carriers, as of April 15th mainline aircraft have exited service since January 22nd at a rate just under 50% greater than regional aircraft (35% for regional, 51% for mainline). Excepting already-planned phase-outs of aircraft, the regional rate shrinks to 30%. A recent analysis by The Air Current demonstrates this phenomenon in practice, and examines the ways in which major airlines are turning to small narrowbodies and regional aircraft to maintain network scale on domestic routes.