FHSG President Jerry Glass was interviewed (quoted extensively on pages 27-28) by Aircraft Commerce Magazine about the regional jet evolution and the influence US major airline labor agreements and scope clauses have on fleet planning in the regional airline market. And, what his potential predictions are for the future impact of scope clauses.
"Before the RJ evolution that began in the 1990s, scope restrictions did not really apply to regional flying. Turboprops were not seen as a threat to mainline pilot jobs due to their limited range. The first scope limitations started to appear in the 1990s as 50-seat RJs began to enter the market. These generally restricted the number of 50-seat RJs that could be operated. Scope clauses have been adjusted as technology continued to improve and larger RJs with longer range were introduced. Initially flying was outsourced to regional operators so that they would provide feeder services to mainline jets at large hubs. Technological improvements mean that the latest RJs have the capacity and range to serve long-thin routes that used to be the exclusive domain of mainline aircraft. They could therefore be seen as more of a threat by mainline pilots' unions, and their arrival has led to the introduction of even more detailed scope limitations, including those that prohibit RJs from operating certain routes."