Telling Three Decades of Regional Airline Stories in One Chart

Click here for the completed interactive chart

It’s impossible to keep track of the regional airline industry in the US: who flew for whom? Who bought which rival, only to spin them off later and be bought by their mainline partner later? Who even exists anymore? What happened to all of the regional airlines we remember?

As impossible a task as this is, we’ve taken a step toward visualizing the regional airline industry in the U.S. over the past three decades. It’s not yet perfect, but we are hoping this may jog some memories. This is not a chart of all regional airlines in the U.S. over the past 30 years. It is a chart of as many regional airlines with mainline code-sharing partnerships during that time.

As a first draft, we’ve produced a flat image-ish file that can be zoomed as far as your browser will allow. Clicking the image below will take you to the large chart which will allow zooming. To do this, likely hold ‘ctrl’ and scroll with your mouse to view the smaller details. If you’re on a mobile device, just pinch. Whatever your method, take the time to view the ebbs and flows of this crazy industry.

We hope to introduce future versions with interactive elements to better tell the countless stories of these airlines. Take a stroll down memory lane, and please let us know of anything we’ve missed or other areas our memories may have been fuzzy. It’s been a while. I’m sure we missed a few.

Click here for the completed interactive chart

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