PEORIA – The future of 50 passenger regional jets appears to be grim.
Many airlines have replaced them for 70 or 90 passenger planes.
Right now, 50 passenger planes are what primarily serve passengers at Peoria International Airport, but that may soon change if airlines follow a national trend and upgrade.
“Basically, what is pushing the airlines to upgrade from the 50 seat aircraft is the price of fuel,” explained Gene Olson. Olson is the director of the airport.
He said he does not think the switch to fewer, larger planes would hinder travel plans.
“You're still at the same number of seats or maybe even a little of an increase.”
Olson also said flights would be able to add a first-class option, and he doesn’t believe it would slim down the job market there.
“I don't see that reducing their staffs at all because you're still going to have aircraft operations from six in the morning to about 11 at night.”
Though no changes have been made at the Peoria airport, Olson believes they’re in store.
“We have not seen any switches yet. I think those are kind of on the horizon and coming down the road.”
Olson said businessmen and women and other frequent travelers may notice a disadvantage because of the cut down on the frequency of flights.