Delta Reveals Its First CRJ-550 Routes

Delta is wasting no time bringing their new CRJ-550s into service. The Atlanta based carrier has revealed the first routes that will see the new aircraft, converted CRJ-700s operated by regional partner SkyWest, and they may surprise you.

What is the CRJ-550?

At its core the CRJ-550 is just a modified CRJ-700 equipped with 50 seats, a typical CRJ-700 can feature up to 76 seats. Airlines need regional jets that feature 50 or fewer seats in order to navigate airline scope clauses that limit the number of larger regional jets each airline can operate as part of their pilot contracts.

SkyWest CRJ-700
Delta is taking 19 SkyWest CRJ-700’s from American and converting them to CRJ-550s

Delta and their regional partners had no 50-seat aircraft in the Delta Connection fleet after the removed the last of the CRJ-200s from the fleet late last year. The CRJ-550 will allow them to increase the number of regional jets they can operate while staying in line with the scope clause.

Since the CRJ-550 is larger than the -200 variant, the airline can install a premium heavy layout to fill the space. The plane is outfitted 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
Delta CRJ-550 Specifications
Delta Connection CRJ-550 Seat Specifications

With 60% of the seats being First Class or Comfort+ this plane will have one of the easiest upgrade odds in the fleet for Delta elites. The airline also installed onboard closets which can be used to store larger carry-on bags.

First CRJ-550 Routes Revealed

When I wrote about Delta’s addition of the CRJ-550, I speculated on a few of the places that they may deploy this aircraft. One of my predictions appears to have been correct as the airline will introduce the plane on four routes out of Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) in July.

Salt Lake City was the last Delta hub that saw regular service using the CRJ-200, connecting small cities and towns around the mountain west. Delta Connection partner SkyWest will fly the CRJ-550s to the following destinations:

  • Bert Mooney Airport (Butte, MT) (BTM)
  • Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC)
  • Elko Regional Airport (EKO)
  • Yellowstone Airport (West Yellowstone, MT) (WYS)
Map of Delta's New CRJ-550 Routes
Delta’s First CRJ-550 Routes from their Salt Lake City Hub

All of the routes are very short with the shortest being 200 miles (SLC-EKO) and the longest being 358 miles (SLC-BTM). The airline is currently operating the CRJ-900 on all four routes so this represents a net decrease in capacity.

All four of these routes are Essential Air Service (EAS) routes subsidised by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Delta is the only carrier at 3 of the 4 airports so it is interesting to me that they didn’t deploy the customer friendly CRJ-550 on routes where they have more competition.

Delta CRJ-550 Schedule

With the exception of Elko (1x daily on the CRJ-550), the three other cities will see a mixture of CRJ-550 and CRJ-900 service. The CRJ-550 flights are scheduled to begin operations in July using the following schedule:

To/From Bert Mooney Airport (BTM)
SLC-BTM DL 4315 9:25a-10:47a
BTM-SLC DL 4315 11:31a-12:49p

To/From Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC)
SLC-CDC DL 4310 5:25p-6:29p
CDC-SLC DL 4310 7:09p-8:15p

To/From Elko Regional Airport (EKO)
SLC-EKO DL 4317 10:45p-10:45p
EKO-SLC DL 4311 6:30a-8:32a

To/From Yellowstone Airport
SLC-WYS DL 4313 1:35p-2:45p
WYS-SLC DL 4313 3:25p-4:35p

The flights are currently available for booking via Google Flights and

a plane on the tarmac
The CRJ-550 will replace CRJ-900 frequencies on all four routes.

With Delta expected to get 19 CRJ-550’s the number of destinations served will increase as more planes come into service. However, the first batch of route announcements gives us an idea of how the airline plans to utilize the planes. Delta is taking a contrasting approach from United, which deploys their CRJ-550s on more premium heavy, business routes.


Delta has loaded their first four CRJ-550 routes which will begin operating in July. They are focused on small, EAS routes from their Salt Lake City hub with have little to no competition. This is an interesting departure from United’s strategy and I’m interested to see what additional routes are revealed over the next few months.

  1. Anyone else notice that all of the flights above can be operated with a single aircraft?

    1. FC seats are in a 1:1 config so they are very wide and the aisle will be wider as well. Comfort+ and econ are a 2:1 config. I think they are offering 21 seats each for + and econ. 🤷🏼‍♂️

      1. First Class on the CRJ-550, and all other regional jets in the Delta fleet is in a 1-2 configuration. Comfort+ and Economy are in a 2-2 layout.

        First Class has 10 seats, Comfort+ and Economy have 20 each.

        I can’t for the life of me figure out what configuration you’re talking about. It certainly isn’t anything in the Delta fleet.

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