Understanding the complex business of aviation is made easier by using market segments. The definition of these should be fairly stable so trends can be seen; but sometimes a new segment is needed in order to provide better insights. Since 2005, EUROCONTROL has used five segments (Traditional Scheduled, Low-Cost, Charter, Business Aviation and All-Cargo) but we are now splitting ‘Traditional Scheduled’ into ‘Mainline’ and ‘Regional’ which account for 36% and 15% of flights respectively (2019 figures).
‘Regional’ flights have been defined as scheduled flights in aircraft with 19 to 120 seats; this segment focuses on short to medium-haul flights and separates them from larger aircraft, often flying long-haul. Overall, the new segmentation provides a better balance and greater clarity.
For example, we can now see that, for much of the pandemic, the Regional segment outperformed both Mainline and Low-Cost, as a result of fewer restrictions on domestic travel and the need/obligation to maintain air connectivity. This role is especially important in the countries with the largest share of Regional flights, where aviation is typically crucial for connectivity: Norway 32%, Finland 27%, Estonia 19% and Sweden 18%. Regional flights also make up 21% of the traffic in Spain’s Canaries islands – providing inter-islands connectivity (all figures Jan-May 2022).
Over the same period, the top Regional aircraft were Embraer’s 145-170-190 family (36% of Regional flights) followed by the ATR 42-72 family (27%) and Bombardier’s CRJ (16%). Regional flights are essential for connecting to major airports and 4.7% of them fly to or from Amsterdam Schiphol. Other key hubs are Warsaw (3.1%), Munich (2.9%), Frankfurt (2.8%) and Las Palmas (2.1%).
Download the data snapshot here: Eurocontrol Data Snaphot #31