SkyWest Airlines (USA) (OO, Salt Lake City) has been awarded a two-year contract by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide essential air service (EAS) from Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, West Virginia and Staunton, Virginia for nearly USD14 million in total.
SkyWest will commence 12x weekly flights from each of the communities to Washington Dulles and Chicago O`Hare on April 1, 2018. The airline will replace ViaAir (VC, Orlando Int`l), the current EAS contractor which provides 12x weekly connections from each of the communities to Charlotte. ViaAir has notified the DOT on November 2, 2017, that it intends to terminate those EAS effective March 31, 2018.
SkyWest will receive an annual subsidy of USD3.99 million at Lewisburg and USD2.99 million at Staunton. The contract will run from April 1, 2018, through March 31, 2020. All flights will be served with 50-seat CRJ-200s. SkyWest will provide operate these flights under the United Express banner using United Airlines (UA, Chicago O`Hare) flight numbers and also promised to spend USD20,000 per community on the marketing of the new service.
Other contestants for the EAS contract were SkyValue Airways (4A, Pontiac), Boutique Air (4B, San Francisco, CA), Ultimate Jetcharters (UE, Akron/Canton) and Southern Airways Express (9X, Memphis Int`l).
SkyWest is a major regional airline in the United States. According to the ch-aviation fleets module, the airline operates 411 jets, including CRJ-100s, CRJ-200s, CRJ-700s, CRJ-900s and EMB-175s. It currently does not fly as an independent operator but fully contracts its capacity as a regional feeder for Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines.
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