That's a surprise to me. I can't recall the last time UA or AA swapped out regional for mainline. In the gradual movement of towards larger aircraft, I'm wondering if AS will swap the the last couple of Q400s off of PDX as they get more E-jets. I wonder too whether AS will add more to SMF as part of their battle for California.
I'm sure AS will swap out those Q400 for Ejets. They ran a mainline 73G last summer on the route, but didn't bring it back for this this summer. Maybe WN just dominates that route with their 5x daily 73G and AS can't compete.
I think once AS gets more of those E-Jets we'll see increased service intra-california on routes like SMF-SNA, SNA-BUR. I would've thought SMF-LAS, but the entrance of F9 on the route recently probably kills the business case as that route is mainly low-yield/leisure. SMF-LAX is probably too competitive and covered by AA as well as the SMF-PHX route. SMF-GEG was also a possibility, but WN jumped on that this year most likely killing this business case for that as well unless they can co-exist like they do on the SMF-BOI route, but I have a feeling AS isn't performing as well on that route ever since WN came on board. Maybe use those Q400s to PSP and/or SBA? who knows.
On a side note, B6 SMF-FLL would be a nice summer seasonal addition. Or maybe Spirit will beat them to the chase.
Hopefully fuel prices don't rise too much too soon and maybe 2019 we can get BNA, MCI, DTW, PHL, MIA, PSP, SBA