kiwigander: "Airlines with small aircraft are a dying breed all over the world. You just need to look at aircraft manufacturers to see this. There are no western 19 seat manufacturers and only the ATR-42 remains as a Western mid sized turbo prop being manufactured.
"Certification costs have killed the small airliner industry. This is not just a problem facing New Zealand. Many other countries around the world are facing the same issues (take Tonga for example).
"I see this issue only getting bigger as the stock of existing Metros, Saabs, Beeches etc. reach end of life. It is hard to see manufacturers jumping back into this space in the foreseeable future. Owning a small thin routes takes courage, money, and lots of money. "
The Dash-8 series, e.g Q400, is still very much in production.
The Q400 is a much larger aircraft than the Q300 which, from what I understand, is no longer in production.