SkyWest Airlines

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SkyWest Airlines
SkyWest Airlines (United States) logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
OO [1] SKWSKYWEST
Founded1972
AOC # SWIA011A [2]
Hubs
Fleet size492 [14]
Destinations239 [15]
Parent company SkyWest, Inc.
Headquarters St. George, Utah, United States [16]
Key people
Employees14,057 (2021) [17]
Website http://www.skywest.com

SkyWest Airlines is an 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. [18]

As of early 2021, SkyWest operates to 50 smaller cities that are subsidized under the federal governments' Essential Air Service program. 36 are served under the United Express banner and 14 under the Delta Connection banner. Service to four other airports in Wyoming are subsidized by the state of Wyoming and operate under the United Express banner. All subsidized routes are flown with Bombardier CRJ100/200 regional jets. [19]

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. [20] 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. During the merger process, SkyWest flights remained operating under the "QG" code and SunAire under the "OO" coded until November 15, 1985 when all flights began operating under the "OO" code. [21]

In early 1986, 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 Brasilia and Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprop aircraft. [22] Following the acquisition and merger of Western by Delta Air Lines in 1987, 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. [23] [24]

From 1995 through 1997, SkyWest operated code share service for Continental Airlines as Continental Connection on flights out of Los Angeles that were also operated as Delta Connection.

In 1997 SkyWest began operating as United Express in addition to Delta Connection on flights out of United Airlines hubs at SFO, LAX and DEN. SkyWest became United's largest United Express operation by the late 1990s. Flights were initially operated with Embraer Brasilia's and Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets. CRJ 700's were added in the early 2000's and Embraer 175's were added in 2015.

A partnership with Continental was revived in 2003 as Continental Connection out of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, but was discontinued in June 2005. This operation used Embraer Brasilia's.

On August 15, 2005, Delta sold Atlantic Southeast Airlines to the newly incorporated SkyWest, Inc. for $425 million in cash. [25] The acquisition was completed on September 8, 2005. [26]

In 2007 SkyWest began code sharing with Midwest Airlines at the carriers hubs in Milwaukee and Kansas City using Bombardier CRJ200 regional jets. In 2010 the code share with Midwest had ended and a new code share agreement began with AirTran Airways at Milwaukee. On September 6, 2011, AirTran Airways ended its codesharing and partnership with SkyWest. [27] Shortly after, SkyWest began a codesharing agreement with US Airways to operate CRJ200 aircraft from US Airways' hub in Phoenix, Arizona. [28]

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. [29]

In May 2011, SkyWest replaced Horizon Air on six routes 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. Horizon Air had been operating these routes with Bombardier CRJ700 series aircraft however Horizon retired this aircraft from its fleet. Alaska Airlines had a similar agreement with PenAir for Alaskan flights and Horizon Air for flights in the lower 48. [30]

On November 15, 2012, SkyWest began a capacity purchase agreement with American Airlines for 12 CRJ200 aircraft operating as American Eagle from American's hub in Los Angeles, California. [31] This code share agreement with American was greatly expanded over the next several years to include destinations from American's hubs at Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Phoenix. Larger Bombardier CRJ700 series aircraft were introduced to the American Eagle system in 2016 and the smaller CRJ-200's were discontinued in 2020. Embraer 175's are scheduled to join the American Eagle system in late 2021.

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. [32]

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. [33] [34] The $70 million sale closed on January 23, 2019. [35]

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 [36] [37] [36] [38] [37] [39] [38] [40] [39] [41] [40] [42] [41] [42]

Destinations and hubs

Destinations

SkyWest flies to 239 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. [43]

Hubs

Skywest Currently has 11 hubs. These hubs are; [44]

Crew Bases

Skywest also has several crew bases; [45]

Maintenance Bases

Skywest also has separate maintenance bases; [46]

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.
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.

Current fleet

SkyWest has the largest fleet of any regional airline in the United States. Since 2015, the airline has exclusively operated jet aircraft.

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 April 2021, the SkyWest Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft, categorized by seating capacity: [47] [48] [49]

SkyWest Airlines fleet
AircraftIn serviceOrdersPassengersOperated forNotes
FY+YTotal
Up to 50 seats
Bombardier CRJ200 2944650 Delta Connection
750SkyWest Airlines
113 United Express
Category total149
Up to 70 seats
Bombardier CRJ700 79229164065 American Eagle Orders are used aircraft to be delivered by end of 2021
59164469 Delta Connection
69164065SkyWest Airlines
16164870
196164870 United Express
Bombardier CRJ900 1312203870 Delta Connection
319164065SkyWest Airlines
Embraer 175 SC 3712203870 Delta Connection
2512322670 United Express
Category total18823
Up to 76 seats
Bombardier CRJ900 2712204476 Delta Connection
Embraer 175 328 [50] 1252 Alaska Airlines Orders to be delivered early 2022
20 [51] 2044 American Eagle Orders to be delivered late 2021, ending in 2022
3132044 Delta Connection
651648 United Express
Category total15531
Fleet total49254

Note: the above chart only shows aircraft in scheduled service. It does not include aircraft that are: owned by SkyWest but leased to other operators, removed from service, transitioning between agreements with partners, used as spares, parked, or in the process of being parted out. [49]

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). [23] 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. [23] 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. [23]

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: [23]

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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