SkyWest Airlines ordered to continue service to 29 smaller American airports (Audio)

March 14, 2022

WASHINGTON–The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has ordered that SkyWest Airlines must continue to serve 29 smaller American cities until a replacement airline can be found.

The Utah-based airline, flying under the United Express brand, notified the DOT last week that it plans to eliminate service by June 10th.

It cited a lack of pilots for the decision.

The flights are offered as part of the government’s Essential Air Service program.

The DOT order prevents SkyWest from discontinuing service until an alternate airline is in place. Interested carriers have been asked to submit their proposals by April 11.

Kyle Wanner is the director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission….

Cities affected by the DOT order are: Alamosa and Pueblo, Colorado, Cape Girardeau, Fort Leonard Wood, and Joplin, Missouri,  Decatur, Illinois,  Devils Lake and Jamestown, North Dakota, Dodge City, Hays, Liberal, and Salina, Kansas, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Fort Dodge, Mason City, and Sioux City, Iowa, Hattiesburg and Meridian, Mississippi, Houghton and Muskegon, Michigan, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Kearney, North Platte, and Scottsbluff, Nebraska,  Lewisburg, West Virginia, Paducah, Kentucky,  Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, and Victoria, Texas.

SkyWest dropped service to Watertown and Pierre on January 3rd, but those two cities are not covered by the DOT’s order because Denver Air Connection has the Essential Air Service contract to serve Watertown and Pierre.