BREAKING: SkyWest Airlines to cease operations in Watertown in January (Audio)

October 26, 2021
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–KWAT News has confirmed Watertown is losing one of its two commercial airlines in January.

SkyWest Airlines, operating as United Express, will dial back service to Watertown later this year, and will make its last flight out of the city in early 2022.

Effective December 1st, SkyWest will operate one flight daily out of Watertown. On Tuesdays and Saturdays they’ll fly to Chicago O’Hare, and the other five days of the week they’ll fly once a day to Denver International Airport.

They’ll end service to Watertown at the close of business on January 3rd. 

This spring, SkyWest lost the federally-subsidized Essential Air Service contract to serve Watertown. That contract was awarded by the U.S. Transportation Department to regional carrier Denver Air Connection. 

Watertown City Manager Amanda Mack tells KWAT News it was unreasonable to think the city could support two commercial airlines over the long haul….

Mack says going forward, the city will enhance the marketing efforts of Watertown Regional Airport and Denver Air Connection……

Denver Air Connection’s Director of Business Development, Jon Coleman, says his airline does not plan any changes to flight schedules or fares when SkyWest exits Watertown.

Denver Air is under contract to serve the city through May 31, 2023.

SkyWest is also pulling out of Pierre–effective January 3rd.

Here’s what Pierre City Commissioner Jamie Huizenga said at Tuesday night’s Pierre City Commission meeting…