So WHERE do you draw the distinction between a so called "mainline" jet and a "regional" jet?
With Canadair (or Bombardier, or whatever they're called now) along with Embraer offering larger and larger products, while the big two (Boeing, Airbus) offering smaller and smaller products (interesting paradox there), what is the difference?
10 and 20 years ago, it was a no-brainer. Anything with jets, was a mainline. Anything with propellers was, well a then-called "commuter" plane. There WERE no regional jets.
The first to change all of that, was, arguably British Aerospace with the legendary 146. This remarkable little jet was (IMO years ahead of its time) found much success with both "mainline" AND "commuter" operations. Then the Fokker F-100/F-70 came around. Same story there. Now we have a whole gaggle of "RJ's" to choose from.
But are they? What makes a 717 a "mainline" plane versus the Embraer 190-even though they are both in the same size and capacity class? Why won't USAir operate mainline service with a CRJ-700 when it did with Fokker 28's for years?
[Edited 2003-06-11 05:02:50]