PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- Early next month SkyWest, flying as United Express, will operate its last commercial air service flight out of the Pierre Regional Airport– but they may be back in 2023.
During last night’s Pierre City Commission meeting (Dec. 21, 2021), commissioner Jamie Huizenga said he received a letter from SkyWest thanking the city for its partnership.
Huizenga says SkyWest is proud of the service it has provided as Pierre’s federal Essential Air Service contract holder.
SkyWest says passenger enplanements from the Pierre Regional Airport increased 61% since they started as the EAS carrier in April 2019. In April 2021, the US Department of Transportation awarded Denver Air Connection the EAS contract to provide commercial air service at the Pierre (and Watertown) airports.
Because EAS carriers receive a federal subsidy in order to keep ticket cost affordable for passengers, their contracts are with the US Department of Transportation, not with the individual towns being served– although those towns do get to provide some input.
SkyWest is looking to maintain EAS service with the airports in Aberdeen & Bemidji, MN A final decision between SkyWest & Denver Air Connection should come either the end of this year or early 2022.