- Regional jets will operate one in four US flights in October
- The longest scheduled route by the equipment is from Portland to Chicago O’Hare
- It covers 1,739 miles (2,799 km) and has a max block time of 4h 38m
With nearly 6,100 flights a day in October, regional jets continue to play a vital role in US aviation. More than two-thirds are by Embraer E175s and CRJ-900s, the largest types permitted under the present scope agreement. While scheduled RJ flights cover an average of 442 miles (711 km) that month, what about the longest five touching the US?
5 Dallas Fort Worth to Santa Rosa
The US’ fifth-longest RJ route is Dallas Fort Worth (the world’s third-busiest airport) to Santa Rosa. At 1,495 miles (2,405 km), it runs daily using three-class, 76-seat E175s operated by Envoy Air for American Eagle. The route was launched in 2019 and has, not surprisingly, always been served by either the E175 or CRJ-900, the latter only in 2020.
While the schedule varies, AA3977 typically leaves from Dallas Fort Worth at 10:09, arriving in California at 12:13. It has a pretty hefty block or scheduled time of 4h 4m. Returning, AA3393 departs at 14:14 and comes back at 19:37 (3h 33m). In the first three months of 2023, around 62% of Santa Rosa passengers transited Dallas to other places.
4 San Francisco to Kansas City
San Francisco to Kansas City covers a marginally longer route at 1,499 miles (2,412 km). United has a daily service in October if all equipment is considered, but only one flight (just one) is by an RJ. All the others are either by the A319, A320, or 737-900.
Photo: Robin Guess I Shutterstock.
On October 20th, a SkyWest E175 for United Express will operate UA5237, departing from United’s Pacific hub at 18:25 and arriving in Kansas City at 23:59 local. It has a block time of 3h 34m.
It will remain overnight and return to the West Coast as UA5337 the following day. This leaves at 07:45 and arrives back at 09:48 (4h 3m). It will be 12 minutes longer than the A320, which is due to operate the next day.
3 Newark & San Francisco to Austin
As sometimes happens, two routes are joint-third-longest in October: Newark and San Francisco to the Texas capital, Austin. Both are 1,504 miles (2,420 km) as the crow flies.
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As you might appreciate, they are slightly different if block time is considered. Flying into the wind, the longest RJ time on Newark-Austin is 4h 14m, against 3h 56m to 4h 5m on Austin-San Francisco. Newark is, of course, also renowned for congestion.
San Francisco-Austin sees E175s by Alaska Airlines and United Express (both use SkyWest). Alaska is key here: it has 15 roundtrips, supplementing mainline 737 MAX 9s, 737-900s, and 737-800s. United has just six roundtrips (5th, 6th, 11th to Texas; 6th, 7th, 12th back). They leave California at 18:25 and get back before noon the next day.
United Express uses Republic E175s on a Saturday service between Newark and Austin, leaving New Jersey at 09:59 and returning at 19:17. The type operates just one in 40 flights in October. The MAX 8 is the most popular equipment, and even the 757-300 is used (albeit only twice); Newark did not see United’s 757-300s in September.
2 Portland to Anchorage
In second place in the longest RJ route is Portland (Oregon) to Anchorage, the first to include an airport outside the contiguous 48 states. It covers 1,542 miles (2,482 km), which for European readers is about the same distance as London Heathrow to Istanbul Airport, which sees many Turkish Airlines widebodies.
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.
Given that Portland is Alaska Airlines’ second-largest hub, it is served by the oneworld carrier. Operated by Horizon Air, the E175s are on AS2197 outbound. Every day except Wednesday, they leave Oregon at 06:40 and arrive in Alaska at 09:25 local (3h 45m). Returning, AS2198 leaves at 17:57 and returns at 22:25 (3h 28m). Flightradar24 shows that the exact same aircraft does not operate both services.
1 Chicago O’Hare to Portland
At 1,739 miles (2,799 km), Portland (Oregon) to Chicago O’Hare is the longest scheduled RJ flight in the US in October. While RJs operated daily through the summer, October is different. There will be just one flight to O’Hare – enough to qualify in this list – on the 1st.
Photo: Alaska Airlines.
Using a Horizon Air E175, AS2047 will depart from Oregon at 23:55 and arrive at 06:00+1 (4h 5m). It will be one of two flights by Alaska Airlines that day, the other by the MAX 9.
Back to the Pacific, E175s will operate two flights, on October 1st (as it would leave Portland on September 30th) and 2nd. On both occasions, AS2046 will leave O’Hare at 07:15 and arrive in Portland at 09:53 local, a 4h 38m block time.
Will you be flying any of these routes in October? Let us know in the comments.