Skip to flight searchSkip to main content

Search and Buy Flights on Regional Jets

Lufthansa aircraft

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.

Aircraft cabin

Regional Jet Cabin Class

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

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.

Who makes regional jets?

There are a number of different aircraft manufacturers that produce regional jets, these include Bombardier, Fokker, Antonov, Comac, Embraer and more.

Region Jet Comparison Chart

The table below details all regional jets that have been produced, how many passengers they can carry and whether they're still in production.

Currently Produced

ModelManufacturerSeatsSeats Per RowEntered ServiceEnded ProductionNo. Produced
SE 210 CaravelleSud Aviation80–140519591972282
F28 FellowshipFokker55–70519691987241
VFW 614Fokker VFW40–4441975197719
Bae 146British Aerospace70–112519832001387
Fokker 100Fokker97–122519881997283
Fokker 70Fokker72–8551994199748
ERJEmbraer37–5031997still in production1213
Fairchild-Dornier 238JETFairchild-Dornier30–33319992004110
CRJ700/900/1000Bombardier66–10442001still in production822
E-Jet familyEmbraer66–12442004still in production1414
An-148Antonov68–9952009still in production42
SSJ100Sukhoi87–10852011still in production159
ARJ21Comac78–10552016still in production9
E-Jet E2 familyEmbraer80–14642018still in production8
MRJMistsibushi69–9242020still in production4

Trusted globally

Rated Excellent on Trustpilot

We’re super proud of our Trustpilot rating, but don’t just take it from us. See why millions of others love booking their flights through Alternative Airlines

Regional Jets FAQs

What is the smallest regional jet?

The smallest major regional jet to be produced is the Yakolev Yak-40. This aircraft had just 32 seats that were set out in a formation of 2 x 2. The smallest major regional jet still in production is the Embraer ERJ 170, this aircraft has between 37–50 seats.

What was the first regional jet?

The first regional jet to be produced was the Sud-Aviation Caravelle, which entered service in 1959. The aircraft had between 80–140 seats and stopped production in 1972. In total, there were over 280 Sud-Aviation Caravelle models produced.

What is the most popular regional jet?

The most popular regional jets in history have been the Bombardier CRJ and the Embraer E-Jet families. Over 1,000 of these each of these aircraft types have been produced.