Regional Jets Unseated as Most Common Aircraft Flown at MSP

Regional Jets Unseated as Most Common Aircraft Flown at MSP

April 19, 2022

Since June 2004, a regional jet aircraft has held the title as the most operated aircraft at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). A regional jet, typically the Bombardier CRJ-200 or the CRJ-900, has been used the most every month for the past 17 years. Beginning in March 2022, the Boeing 737-800, a narrowbody jet, has overtaken regional jets as the most flown aircraft at MSP.

As a family of aircraft, narrowbody jets are the most operated aircraft at MSP. Narrowbody jets typically operate just under 60 percent of all operations at MSP while regional jets typically operate about 33 percent of operations.

Narrowbody jet aircraft accommodate more passengers than regional jet aircraft and are therefore, able to transport more passengers with fewer takeoffs and landings than their smaller counterparts. The Boeing 737-800 can accommodate between 160 to 184 passengers while a CRJ-900 only carries 76 passengers.

Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines are modernizing and refreshing their fleets. Older aircraft are being replaced by new and more efficient aircraft. Often, airlines choose aircraft with more seating capacity and better fuel capacity when making these decisions.

The pandemic has also changed where travelers want to fly, and the airlines have adjusted their schedules in response. During an air service update provided at the January 2022 Noise Oversight Committee (NOC) meeting, NOC Representative Casey Potter noted that Sun Country is flying a schedule this Spring that is like the pre-pandemic schedule and offers more leisure destinations than prior to 2020. Sun Country operates narrowbody jets exclusively for its operations.

The Boeing 737 family has numerous models, making it one of the most popular aircraft operated by airlines in the United States. At MSP, the aircraft is operated by Delta Air Lines, Sun County Airlines, Southwest, American and United.

The 737-800 and CRJ-900 aircraft are featured in the MAC's Meet the Fleet video series. Take a tour through these aircraft and learn more about the most flown aircraft at MSP.