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Commuter airlines and regional airlines are historical terms to describe airlines, and today difficult to delineate. In the United States and in Canada, prior to deregulation airlines were divided into a three-tier system. The first tier comprised national carriers operating jet aircraft on trunk routes and international flights. Tier two airlines were regional airlines, that is, airlines operated within specific regions of the country, mostly to feed the main trunk system of tier one airlines. Finally, local commuter airlines formed tier three and served smaller feeder routes, operated by propeller-driven aircraft. In other parts of the world, similar structures existed during the era when airlines were more strictly regulated, but today many regional and commuter airlines have morphed into one type of airline, commonly referred ...

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