This is a good question. It is my understanding that the DCA
slots are differentiated in terms of regional and mainline. That is why they have increased the EMB 170 at DCA
. The EMB 170 fits in the regional slot category, yet is capable of flying mainline routes. That explains the sudden decrease in turboprop flying from DCA
. US AIRWAYS is now using those slots for the EMB 170. I believe the only US AIRWAYS EXPRESS turboprop flights out of DCA
are with Colgan who actually owns the slots outright.
Now I think LGA
is different. A slot is a slot is a slot. It can be used by mainline jets or regional jets. Why US AIRWAYS has elected to use a bunch of regional jets out of LGA
as opposed to flying mainline jets to say, MCO
is beyond me. My only assumption is, in recent years, their costs have not been low enough to effectively compete with JetBlue, Airtran, Spirit and others. But the RJ
costs are lower since they are fixed. Therefore, right now, you see more RJ
's at LGA
. Now if and when the recent cost reductions start to help the bottom line, and they become competitive, I would guess we will see more mainline at LGA
and less Rj's. But like I said that is only a guess.
If I am wrong about the slot issues, please enlighten me.