|Hubs||as American Eagle:
as Alaska SkyWest:
as Delta Connection:
as United Express:
|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)
|Parent company||SkyWest, Inc.|
|Headquarters||St. George, Utah, United States|
|Key people||Jerry Atkin (Chairman)|
Chip Childs (President and CEO)
Mike Thompson (COO)
SkyWest Airlines is a North American regional airline headquartered in St. George, Utah. SkyWest is classified as one of the major airlines of the United States. However, as a regional airline and primarily serves major air carriers via contracts with American Airlines (as American Eagle), Delta Air Lines (as Delta Connection), Alaska Airlines (as Alaska SkyWest) 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.
SkyWest operates an average of more than 2,200 flights per day to 250+ cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas 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 897 flights per day as Delta Connection on behalf of Delta Air Lines, 812 flights per day as United Express on behalf of United Airlines, 332 flights per day as American Eagle on behalf of American Airlines, and 144 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.
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. 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.
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 Brasilia and Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprop aircraft. 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. 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. The acquisition was completed on September 8, 2005.
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.
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.
On September 6, 2011, AirTran Airways ended its codesharing and partnership with SkyWest. Shortly after, SkyWest began a codesharing agreement with US Airways to operate CRJ200 aircraft from US Airways' hub in Phoenix, Arizona.
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.
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. The $70 million sale closed on January 23, 2019.
SkyWest flies to 251 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, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Portland International Airport.
SkyWest has the largest fleet of any regional airline in the United States. Since 2015, the airline exclusively operates jet aircraft.
SkyWest, like most regional airlines in the United States, 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 regional airlines, 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.
|Aircraft||In service||Orders||Passengers||Operated for||Notes|
|50 Seat Jets|
|Bombardier CRJ200||84||4||46||Delta Connection|
|Total For Category||195|
|70 Seat Jets|
|Bombardier CRJ700||44||10||9||16||40||65||American Eagle||Deliveries scheduled to go in service 2020|
|Bombardier CRJ900||11||2||12||20||38||Delta Connection||Orders to be delivered through 2020.|
|Embraer 175 SC||30||7|
|Total For Category||142|
|76 Seat Jets|
|Bombardier CRJ900||31||—||12||20||44||76||Delta Connection|
|Embraer 175||32||—||12||52||Alaska Airlines|
|24||10||20||44||Delta Connection||Six transfers from Compass Airlines|
|Embraer 175-E2||—||100||Launch customer.|
Delivery starting 2021.
|Mitsubishi SpaceJet M90||—||100||Delivery starting 2020.|
|Total For Category||152|
SkyWest previously operated Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft until 2015. The airline also previously operated Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprops (Metro II and Metro III models). 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 being operated as well. By 1994, the first jet, a Canadair 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.
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:
SkyWest Airlines has never been cited or found at fault in a fatal accident or incident. Incidents include:
...20 new Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft..." "...aircraft will have the ATMOSPHÈRE cabin with a 70-seat, dual-class configuration...