Watertown loses daily service to Chicago

WATERTOWN, S.D. (KWAT) — It’s being called the worst crisis in the history of commercial aviation in this country’s history.

The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with stay-at-home orders being issued around the country,  are gutting the industry.

KWAT News has learned that effective Tuesday, Skywest Airlines operating as United Express, pulled the plug on its daily service from Watertown to Chicago O’Hare.

Airport Manager Todd Syhre says it’s a temporary move, as United tries to cut its losses.

One round trip daily to Denver, but nothing to Chicago until July at the earliest.

Syhre says for the airlines, it’s not about flying right now.

The drop in passenger traffic in Watertown since early March has been staggering.

Syhre says business is down 95-percent.

Through June 30, the only commercial flight in and out of Watertown is via Denver, with a 9:45 a.m. departure, and a 9:50 p.m. arrival.