MIAMI— With all the recent discussion of the challenges facing Republic Airways, including the lawsuit brought by Delta for failure to operate flights, questions have arisen about just how significant the impact of operations was from Republic and also the other regional operators. And so it is time to dig in to data from August & September and see where the impact is being felt the hardest. There are five regional operators in the USA which serve multiple mainline carriers:

  • Republic Airlines
  • Mesa Airlines
  • Shuttle America
  • SkyWest
  • ExpressJet

Over the past 60 days this is what the performance numbers look like for the five:


It is worth noting that SkyWest and ExpressJet have significantly more operations than the other three but the true standout numbers are the cancellation percentages for Republic and Shuttle America. Things are significantly worse there than in the rest of the industry.

Splitting each of those operations into the mainline carriers also shows some interesting trends. On Republic Airlines, for example, the delays and cancellations for United Airlines are significantly higher than for American Airlines/US Airways.


SkyWest also performs poorly for United Airlines but arguably worse for the American/US Airways combination by percentages. Not reflected in the chart is that SkyWest operates nearly 6x more flights under the United brand than for American/US Airways, meaning that the number of affected flights is far greater on United.


Delta takes a hit in on-time performance from the ExpressJet and Shuttle America operations. And, unsurprisingly, Shuttle America is causing cancellation challenges for Delta.


Looking at the overall performance by mainline operator we see that the combined American operation fares the worst on both cancellation and delay metrics while Delta leads the pack on both. These numbers include the regional carriers which operate only for one mainline carrier as well as those with shared obligations.


As for the publicity Delta has been earning recently with its very, very limited mainline cancellations, that is admirable. Once regional operations are included, however, the numbers are not quite as impressive.