SkyWest Airlines

Last updated
SkyWest Airlines
SkyWest Airlines (United States) logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
OO [1] SKWSKYWEST
Founded1972
AOC # SWIA011A [2]
Hubs as American Eagle: [3]

as Alaska SkyWest: [3]

as Delta Connection: [3]

as United Express: [3]

Frequent-flyer program AAdvantage (as American Eagle)
Mileage Plan (as Alaska SkyWest)
SkyMiles (as Delta Connection)
MileagePlus (as United Express)
Alliance SkyTeam (as Delta Connection)
Star Alliance (as United Express)
Oneworld (as American Eagle)
Fleet size484
Destinations255 [4]
Parent company SkyWest, Inc.
Headquarters St. George, Utah, United States [4]
Key people Jerry Atkin (Chairman)
Chip Childs (President and CEO)
Mike Thompson (COO)
Website http://www.skywest.com

SkyWest Airlines is a North American regional airline headquartered in St. George, Utah, United States. It primarily serves major air carriers via contracts with Alaska Airlines (as Alaska SkyWest), American Airlines (as American Eagle), Delta Air Lines (as Delta Connection), and United Airlines (as United Express). SkyWest is primarily paid to operate and maintain aircraft used on flights that are scheduled, marketed, and priced by a partner mainline airline. In all, it is the largest regional airline in North America when measured by fleet size, number of passengers carried, and number of destinations served between all the airlines it contracts with.

Contents

SkyWest operates an average of more than 2,400 flights per day to 250 cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico with an extensive network of routes largely set up to connect passengers between smaller airports and the large hubs of its partner airlines. In total, SkyWest carried 35.9 million passengers in 2017.

Under various contracts, the company operates an average of 1,050 flights per day as Delta Connection on behalf of Delta Air Lines, 900 flights per day as United Express on behalf of United Airlines, 370 flights per day as American Eagle on behalf of American Airlines, and 160 flights per day as Alaska SkyWest in partnership with Alaska Airlines.

The vast majority of SkyWest's contracts are fixed-fee, with partner airlines paying a set amount for each flight operated, regardless of the number of passengers carried. The remaining 7% of flights are operated under a pro-rate contract, with SkyWest assuming all costs, setting fares, retaining all revenue from non-connecting passengers, and splitting the fares of connecting passengers on a pro-rated basis with the partner airline. SkyWest currently operates on a pro-rate basis on 68 routes across 10 hubs through agreements with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines. [5]


History

SkyWest Airlines headquarters in St. George, Utah Skywest headquarters st george.jpg
SkyWest Airlines headquarters in St. George, Utah
Former Embraer EMB-120 in SkyWest livery Embraer EMB 120 (Skywest) N217SW.jpg
Former Embraer EMB-120 in SkyWest livery

Frustrated by the limited extent of existing air service, Ralph Atkin, a St. George, Utah lawyer, purchased Dixie Airlines to shuttle businessmen to Salt Lake City in 1972. [6] After early struggles, SkyWest began a steady expansion across the western U.S. It became the eleventh largest regional carrier in 1984 when it acquired Sun Aire Lines of Palm Springs, California, and had its initial public offering in 1986. [7]

In 1985, SkyWest began codesharing as Western Express, a feeder service for Western Airlines at its Salt Lake City hub and other mainline Western destinations utilizing Embraer EMB-120 and Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprop aircraft. [8] Following the acquisition and merger of Western by Delta Air Lines in 1986, SkyWest then became a Delta Connection air carrier with code share service being flown on behalf of Delta to destinations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. [9] [10] In 1995, SkyWest began operating flights for Continental Airlines out of LAX. The relationship was discontinued two years later when SkyWest began flying for United Airlines. SkyWest's United Express flights out of SFO, LAX and DEN became its largest operation by the late 1990s. A partnership with Continental was revived in 2003 out of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, but was discontinued in June 2005. On August 15, 2005, Delta sold Atlantic Southeast Airlines to the newly incorporated SkyWest, Inc. for $425 million in cash. [11] The acquisition was completed on September 8, 2005. [12]

On August 4, 2010, SkyWest, Inc. announced that it planned to acquire ExpressJet Airlines and merge it with SkyWest subsidiary Atlantic Southeast Airlines in a deal reported to have a value of $133 million. The purchase aligned the largest commuter operations of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, who were in a merger process, and was approved on September 13, 2010, by the Federal Trade Commission. [13]

In May 2011, SkyWest replaced six Horizon Air flights on the West Coast being operated for Alaska Airlines. The flights were based out of Seattle and Portland, and fly to several California cities including Fresno, Burbank, Santa Barbara and Ontario. Alaska Airlines has similar agreements with PenAir for Alaskan flights and Horizon Air for flights in the lower 48. [14]

On September 6, 2011, AirTran Airways ended its codesharing and partnership with SkyWest. [15] Shortly after, SkyWest began a codesharing agreement with US Airways to operate CRJ200 aircraft from US Airways' hub in Phoenix, Arizona. [16]

On November 15, 2012, SkyWest began a capacity purchase agreement with American Airlines for 12 CRJ200 aircraft from American's hub in Los Angeles, California. [17]

A SkyWest Embraer E175 operating for Alaska Airlines AlaskaAirlines(Skywest)E175N183SY SANFebruary2019.jpg
A SkyWest Embraer E175 operating for Alaska Airlines

On September 6, 2017, SkyWest Airlines reported that it has entered into aircraft purchase agreements and capacity purchase agreements to acquire and fly 15 new aircraft with Delta Air Lines and 10 new aircraft with Alaska Airlines. Of the 25 aircraft, 15 Embraer E175 SC aircraft will fly under an agreement with Delta in a 70-seat configuration. The E175 SC aircraft has an E175 airframe and can be retrofitted to 76 seats in the future. The agreement with Alaska includes 10 Embraer E175s, which will be configured with 76 seats, similar to aircraft SkyWest has previously placed into service with Alaska. Expected delivery dates of the 25 aircraft run from March 2018 through the end of 2018. [18]

On December 18, 2018, SkyWest, Inc. announced that it would sell ExpressJet Airlines to another airline holding company with ties to United Airlines, ExpressJet's sole client. [19] [20] The $70 million sale closed on January 23, 2019. [21]

Corporate affairs

Ownership and structure

SkyWest is owned by SkyWest, Inc., an airline holding company. SkyWest also provides contract ground handling services at airports across the United States.

Performance figures for SkyWest Airlines are fully incorporated into the accounts of its parent company, SkyWest, Inc.

Figures that are available for SkyWest Airlines alone (referred to as 'SkyWest Airlines segment' data in the Group accounts), are shown below (as at year ending December 31):

20122013201420152016201720182019
Revenue (US$m)1,9301,8281,8741,8481,9352,1732,3462,479
Profit before tax (US$m)1061407618223263307250
Number of passengers (m)n/a40.343.7
Number of aircraft (in service)(at year end)334362348368422470483
Notes/sources [22] [23] [22] [24] [23] [25] [24] [26] [25] [27] [26] [28] [27] [28]

Destinations

SkyWest flies to 255 destinations throughout North America including Denver International Airport, Salt Lake City International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Portland International Airport. [29]

Fleet

Bombardier CRJ200, owned and operated by SkyWest for Delta Connection, landing at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport. SkyWestCRJ200MSP.jpg
Bombardier CRJ200, owned and operated by SkyWest for Delta Connection, landing at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport.
Embraer 175, owned and operated by SkyWest for Alaska Airlines, parked at the gate at Fresno Yosemite International Airport. Alaska SkyWest E75 in Fresno.jpg
Embraer 175, owned and operated by SkyWest for Alaska Airlines, parked at the gate at Fresno Yosemite International Airport.
Embraer 175, owned and operated by SkyWest for Delta Connection, approaching LaGuardia Airport. SkyWest (Delta Connection) Embraer ERJ-175LR N297SY approaching LaGuardia Airport.jpg
Embraer 175, owned and operated by SkyWest for Delta Connection, approaching LaGuardia Airport.

Current fleet

SkyWest has the largest fleet of any regional airline in the United States.

Like most regional airlines in the United States, SkyWest is subject to scope clause requirements of its mainline carrier partners and their pilot unions; those requirements limit the size of the aircraft flown by a regional airline, measured in seat capacity. This has created three subgroups of aircraft flown by SkyWest: aircraft with no more than 50 seats, no more than 70 seats and no more than 76 seats.

As of May 2020, the SkyWest Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft, categorized by seating capacity: [30] [31]

SkyWest Airlines fleet
AircraftIn serviceOrdersPassengersOperated forNotes
FY+YTotal
Up to 50 seats
Bombardier CRJ100 35050 Delta Connection
1SkyWest Airlines
1 United Express
Bombardier CRJ200 58446 Delta Connection
1250SkyWest Airlines
102 United Express
Category total177
Up to 70 seats
Bombardier CRJ700 58129164065 American Eagle Deliveries scheduled to go in service 2020
5SkyWest Airlines
64469 Delta Connection
964870 American Eagle
1SkyWest Airlines
19 United Express
Bombardier CRJ900 121122038 Delta Connection Orders to be delivered through 2020. [32]
Embraer 175 SC 352
421 United Express [33]
Category total14936
Up to 76 seats
Bombardier CRJ900 3112204476 Delta Connection
Embraer 175 321252 Alaska Airlines
20 [34] 2044 American Eagle
304 [35] 2044 Delta Connection
651648 United Express
Mitsubishi M90 100
TBA
TBA
Delivery starting 2021. [36] [37]
Category total158124
Fleet total484160

As of the same date, the allocation of SkyWest Airlines aircraft in service to mainline carrier operations and to its own fleet was:

Bombardier A SkyWest CRJ200 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Most aircraft are painted in the livery of partner carriers, but SkyWest does have a small number of aircraft in its own livery that can be operated for any partner airline as needed. SkyWest CR2 at Sea-Tac Airport.jpg
Bombardier A SkyWest CRJ200 at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. Most aircraft are painted in the livery of partner carriers, but SkyWest does have a small number of aircraft in its own livery that can be operated for any partner airline as needed.
Aircraft type:CRJ100CRJ200CRJ700CRJ900E175 SCCRJ900E175Total
Seating capacity:5065697076
Alaska Airlines3232
American Eagle58967
DeltaConnection358612353130175
SkyWest Airlines1125119
United Express110219465191
Totals517263629123931127484
177149158

Fleet development

Since 2015, the airline has exclusively operated jet aircraft.

In mid-2019 SkyWest signed a firm order for 7 Embraer E175 aircraft, in a 70-seat layout, to be operated for DeltaConnection and with deliveries starting in the last quarter of 2019. [38]

Historical fleet

SkyWest previously operated Embraer EMB-120 turboprop aircraft until 2015. The airline also operated Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprops (Metro II and Metro III models). [9] In 1984, SkyWest was operating the largest Metro propjet fleet in the world with 26 aircraft, and by 1991 the Metro fleet had grown to 35 aircraft with 15 Brasilia propjets also being operated. [9] By 1994, the first jet, a Bombardier CRJ-100, was added to the fleet and by 1996 all of the Metro propjets had been retired as they were progressively replaced with Brasilia aircraft. [9] .

According to the airline's website, at its inception SkyWest was operating all flights in the early 1970s with small propeller-driven, piston engine aircraft, including: [9]

Accidents and incidents

SkyWest Airlines has never been cited or found at fault in a fatal accident or incident. Incidents include:

See also

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