SHERIDAN, WY— SkyWest Airlines, the company that recently won the bid for the State of Wyoming’s Capacity Purchase Agreement for air service throughout the state, gave a presentation regarding the benefits of their service at the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon on Wednesday.
Greg Atkin, Managing Director of Market Development for SkyWest, said that because their airline operates as a “codeshare” rather than an “interline,” the airline would be able to bring several advantages to Sheridan’s air service if selected by Sheridan’s Critical Air Service Team (CAST).
Atkin said that because the airline would be branded as “United Express,” it would make it easier for passengers to fly both in and out of Sheridan.
Atkin added that SkyWest would utilize their marketing staff to try and combat “leakage,” which he explained as passengers who travel out-of-town to take a flight.
According to Atkin, 70-75% of airline passengers in Sheridan travel to a different airport for a flight, rather than utilize Sheridan’s airport.
Sheridan’s current air-service provider, Denver Air Connection (DAC), also submitted a bid for the Capacity Purchase Agreement, but was not selected by WYDOT. However, DAC has a current contract to provide air service to Sheridan through January 11, 2020.
CAST will examine service from both airlines and make a recommendation to Sheridan’s City Council and County Commissioners on which airline to contract. If CAST determines to retain air service with DAC, the $15 million worth of funding from the State’s Capacity Purchase Agreement would not be made available to Sheridan.
SkyWest currently provides air service to 7 cities in Wyoming and operates 43% of the State’s total flights. The airline is partnered with 4 major airlines, operates in 245 cities, and has 500 aircraft in their fleet.