If You Haven’t Flown in a Turboprop Plane by Now, You Probably Never Will
American Airlines Group’s final turboprop flight landed in Salisbury, Maryland, last month, marking the final turboprop flight operated by a major airline in the continental U.S.
Piedmont Airlines (an American Airlines regional airline) was the last among the “Big Three” carriers to operate regular commercial turboprop service, Bloomberg reported. But when flight 4927 landed in Maryland, the reign of the turboprop was over.
The landing marked the end of a 90-year era. Turboprop planes have been circling U.S. skies since 1928.
However, it’s a completely different story in the private aviation sector. Last year, chartered flights on turboprop aircraft increased eight percent, according to ARGUS TRAQpak, an aircraft activity analysis tool.
The private flyer interest is likely due to cost efficiency. “Consumers realize that for shorter regional trips, there isn’t much benefit to using a jet,” Exclusive Resorts founder Tom Filippini told Forbes. “Not only are the turboprops less expensive for these missions, but they frequently offer better payload, more comfortable cabins and can access significantly more airports.”
In other words: If you want to fly in a propeller plane, from now on, you’re going to have to pay for it.