Airlines have been facing economic challenges when it comes to operating 50-seat regional jets. The costs associated with flying small planes have increased significantly, which includes higher pilot and crew wages, rising fuel prices, and other expenses related to the airline industry. As a result, airlines have been compelled to discontinue service in small communities that are typically served by these 50-seat regional jets. An analysis conducted by Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consulting revealed that major carriers such as American, Delta, and United have collectively exited 74 markets previously served with 50-seat regional jets since April 2020.
However, in Wichita, the airlines are upgauging to larger aircraft while reducing the number of flights. According to published schedules, seat capacity for the third quarter of 2023 in Wichita is projected to exceed the seat capacity in the same period of 2019 by 4%. However, there will be a 7% reduction in the number of flights. This indicates that airlines in Wichita are optimizing their operations by utilizing larger aircraft that can accommodate more passengers per flight. The majority of flights, 44%, in Wichita will be operated by narrowbody aircraft.
Upcoming Changes at ICT
- Alaska Airlines has resumed daily service to Seattle. In October, service will be reduced to 5 weekly flights.
- Allegiant has resumed seasonal service to Los Angeles (LAX), Orlando-Sanford (SFB), and Tampa/St. Petersburg (PIE) on May 31.
- American Airlines will add a third daily flight to Chicago starting July 6.
- Delta Air Lines will move up the Minneapolis departure to 7:36 am from 5:05 pm starting June 4.
- United Airlines will eliminate 50-seat regional jets from its Denver route in August. Flights will be operated by 126-seat and 150-seat Airbus aircraft and 76-seat regional jets.