Delta Brings the CRJ-200 Back Into Service this Summer

As I reported yesterday, Delta Connection partner SkyWest returned a single CRJ-200 to the skies, operating flights from Detroit’s Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) to Alpena County Regional Airport (APN) in Alpena, MI. and Delta County Airport in Escanaba, MI (ESC).

Delta Connection CRJ-200
It’s official, Delta is bringing the CRJ-200 back into service for the summer.

The question on everyone’s mind was whether this was a one-off substitution or part of a larger fleet plan. I reached out to Delta for comment and they directed me to SkyWest. SkyWest reached out to me this morning and you can expect to see the CRJ-200 popping up on some routes from Detroit and Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) this summer. Here is the statement from SkyWest:

As we continue to transition our CRJ550 fleet and to ensure adequate fleet resources during the busy summer travel season, SkyWest may utilize the CRJ200 in some Delta Connection markets in June and July on an as-needed basis. All associated aircraft substitutions are temporary in nature and will not affect flight schedules or frequencies.

SkyWest Airlines Corporate Communications

Delta announced earlier this year that it would become the second airline (after United) to add the swanky CRJ-550 to its fleet. This is a great upgrade for passengers as the CRJ-550 is essentially a converted CRJ-700 designed to only hold 50 people in a premium heavy configuration. Once it goes into service, the plane will be equipped in a three-class layout featuring First Class, Comfort+, and Economy in the following configuration:

  • 10 First Class Seats
  • 20 Extra Legroom Comfort+ Seats
  • 20 Economy Class Seats
SkyWest CRJ-550
SkyWest will operate the CRJ-550 on behalf of Delta Connection on routes out of Salt Lake City

Short Term Pain, Long Term Gain

The re-introduction of the CRJ-200 is undoubtedly bad for the passenger experience. Delta became the first of the big 3 U.S. carriers to retire the type at the end of last year. The aircraft is so universally hated that it has gained the nickname “Satan’s Chariot”. The CRJ-200 is equipped in a single-cabin layout in a 2-2 configuration and it is extremely tight on the inside.

Delta Connection CRJ-200 Interior
The cabin on the CRJ-200 is tight and the fixtures have certainly seen better days.

While this swap will undoubtedly be frustrating for passengers in the short term, the CRJ-550s that will replace them as Delta’s 50-seat commuter aircraft will feature a more premium seating than regular Economy seats which is great for elites looking for upgrades. The cabin will also feature storage closets meaning more passengers can bring on their carry-on luggage without needing to gate check them.

Delta CRJ-550 Specifications
Delta CRJ-550 Specifications

Delta CRJ-200 Routes This Summer

While we are only on day 2 of the re-introduction of the CRJ-200, a couple of destinations and flights have emerged as regular options for N936EV, the lone CRJ-200 currently flying for Delta. Both routes are operating from Detroit, no word on any routes from SLC but based on the statement from SkyWest I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more CRJ-200s pushed into service.

Detroit (DTW) – Alpena (APN)
DTW-APN DL 4274 Departs: 10:10a Arrives: 11:14a
APN-DTW DL 4274 Departs: 11:54a Arrives: 1:00p

Detroit (DTW) – Escanaba (ESC)
DTW-ESC DL 4243 Departs: 3:50p Arrives: 5:12p
ESC-DTW DL 4243 Departs: 5:53p Arrives: 7:09p


Delta Connection partner SkyWest is bringing the CRJ-200 back into service as they work to integrate the CRJ-550 into the fleet. According to SkyWest, the CRJ-200s will be utilized on an as-needed basis for June and July. While the two routes identified seem to have the CRJ-200 scheduled on a regular basis, I’d be curious to hear if anyone else is seeing the plane pop up during their travels.

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