July 20, 2021
PIERRE, S.D. – Yesterday, during a phone call between Governor Kristi Noem and SkyWest CEO Chip Childs, both parties discussed their strong partnership and SkyWest’s continued commitment to service in the Pierre and Watertown markets.
“With fall pheasant season approaching, South Dakota appreciates SkyWest’s commitment to the Pierre and Watertown markets for the foreseeable future. The high-quality air service they provide enhances our state’s tourism numbers and economic growth,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “We will continue urging the U.S. Department of Transportation to re-bid these routes and hope that SkyWest will be recognized for the excellent service that they provide.”
“We appreciate the outpouring of support from customers and state and local officials, and we continue to look forward to a positive resolution from the DOT,” said SkyWest President & CEO Chip Childs. “We have appreciated Governor Noem’s personal engagement and today we are pleased to reaffirm our commitment to providing United Express flights to Pierre and Watertown for the foreseeable future.”
Governor Noem previously urged U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to re-bid the Essential Air Service contracts in both Pierre and Watertown. Governor Noem believes that the contract should be awarded to SkyWest based on a strong record of service and performance.
Since July 1, 2021, when SkyWest’s current Essential Air Service contract concluded, SkyWest has continued to outperform its competitors in enplanements at both the Pierre and Watertown airports.
“SkyWest makes it easier for South Dakotans to travel anywhere in the world, and they bring visitors here to our beautiful state. I am proud to work with their team to continue serving our great state,” Gov. Noem said.