What is a regional jet?
A regional jet is a small aircraft that is used by airlines operating regional flights. Regional jets usually have less than 150 seats and are typically produced by aircraft manufacturers that specialise in making smaller aircraft. For example, neither of the two biggest aircraft manufacturers — Airbus and Boeing — produce regional jets. Instead, regional jets are produced by other manufacturers, such as Embraer, Bombardier and Fokker.
Because of their purpose to regional flights, which are in less-demand than other flights, regional jets are only every used for short-haul flights, often within a country or a certain area of a continent.
In the US and Canada regional jets are limited in size and number by a scope clause. A scope clause is an agreement between a major airline and the union of pilots that limits the number and size of regional aircraft. By limiting the number of regional jets that a major airline can have in its fleet at one time, a scope clause discourages airlines to hire regional pilots instead of major airline pilot, who — in theory — are willing to take less pay than a major airline pilot. As a result, airlines are forced to use major planes on routes that they might ordinarily operate with regional jets to cut costs in pilot pay.
Regional Jet Cabin Classes
Regional jets are usually made up of just Economy Class. However, they can sometimes include an additional cabin class, which is often a Business Class cabin. The Business Class cabin isn't the same as what you'd expect from major aircraft, it's usually either the same layout as the Economy Class cabin but with a vacant seat next to each passenger or a slightly larger seat in a 1 x 1 formation. The cabin is often separated from the rest of the aircraft by a curtain.
Regional Jet Seat Formation
The seat formation for a regional jet can be any combination that is smaller than or equal to 3 x 2. For example, it can be 1 x 1, 1 x 2, 2 x 2 or 3 x 2.
There are two types of wide body aircraft — standard wide body aircraft and bigger wide body aircraft. The bigger type is referred to as a 'jumbo jet' and is often a double-decker with two floors of seating.
Wide body aircraft are used both in commercial passengers flights and cargo services by hundreds of airlines worldwide.