Airline Companies Decreasing Number of Small Planes in Their Fleets
Airline companies are responding to the recent increase in fuel prices and the adverse economic conditions by reducing the number of small planes in their fleets, which is leading to a reduction in the frequency of certain routes or even to their cancellation. This trend is particularly detrimental to passengers living in small cities who are left with severely restricted flight options.
Major airlines such as Delta, United and Continental are seeking to increase the overall fuel efficiency of their fleets in response to the rising prices of jet fuel and are expected to do so by scrapping hundreds of jets with 50 seats or less, which tend to be older and less fuel-efficient. Furthermore, they are expected to reduce the number of propeller planes just as significantly.
According to Airport Council International, 27 airports across the country have been deprived completely from flights from major airlines in the last two years and that number is expected to increase. These airports service towns such as St. Cloud, Minn., and Oxnard, Calif. Passengers who used to fly out of these airports are now forced to either drive or take public transportation to larger airports, which increases the time and hassle associated with air travel.