Category Archives: SkyWest Airlines

SkyWest files with the DOT to operate 30-seat CRJs under Part 135

SkyWest through its new SkyWest Charter, LLC division filed with the U.S. Department of Transport (DOT) for authority to operate 30-seat CRJ200s to smaller, underserved cities.

Here is the application:

APPLICATION OF SKYWEST CHARTER, LLC FOR A COMMUTER AIR CARRIER AUTHORIZATION

SkyWest Charter, LLC (“SWC” or the “Company”) hereby applies for authority to conduct scheduled passenger operations as a commuter air carrier pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 41738, Parts 201 and 204, and § 298.50 of the Department’s Economic Regulations (14 C.F.R. pt. 298) and the applicable Procedural Regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (the “Department”). The proposed operations will provide underserved communities and markets with frequent jet service and ready access to the national transportation system. As explained in more detail below, the Company requests that this Application be processed on an expedited basis.

In support of this Application, SkyWest Charter, LLC states as follows:

1. The Company was originally organized under the laws of the State of New Jersey in the name USAC 691 Airways LLC. On June 14, 2022, the Company was purchased by SW Charter Holdings, Inc. A good standing certificate from the State of New Jersey is attached hereto as Exhibit SWC-100. The Company is in the process of being re-domesticated in Utah.1 The Company’s headquarters is located at 444 South River Road, St. George, Utah 84790 and its telephone number is 435-634-3500. SWC has no subsidiaries nor does it hold any stock in, or control of, any air carrier, foreign air carrier, common carrier or person substantially engaged in the business of aeronautics.

2. SWC is a citizen of the United States as defined in 49 U.S.C. § 40102(a)(15). An affidavit of citizenship is attached as Exhibit SWC-200.

3. SWC holds FAA Air Carrier Certificate J6BA933L together with operations specifications for on-demand operations under Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (“FARs”). The certificate was recently transferred from the Allentown Flight Standards Office (“FSDO”) to the Allegheny FSDO. The Manager of the Allegheny FSDO is Wendy Grimm. The assignment of the FAA principal operations and maintenance inspectors to the Company is pending.

1 The Company has filed the paperwork to change its name under state law from USAC Airways 691, LLC to SkyWest Charter, LLC and will provide such confirming documentation upon receipt from the Secretary of State’s office upon receipt along with a good standing certificate from the State of Utah. The Company will be changing the name on the Air Carrier Certificate and op specs as well and will notify the Department upon completion of that process. With the exception of the questionnaires completed by key personnel that reference “USAC Airways 691, LLC,” the name SkyWest Charter, LLC or SWC is used in this Application for ease of reference since that will be the name under which service is provided.

individuals currently occupying the FAA-required positions worked for the Company under its previous ownership. SWC will be working with the FSDO to integrate into SWC other FAR Part 119-required personnel who are currently working for or recently retired from SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (“SkyWest Airlines”).

4. A list of the Company’s key personnel and their positions is attached as Exhibit SWC-300. All of the key personnel are citizens of the United States. An organizational chart reflecting the Company’s management structure is set forth in Exhibit SWC-301. SWC is wholly owned by SW Charter Holdings, Inc., which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc. as reflected in the chart attached as Exhibit SWC-302. Information regarding other aviation positions and ownership interests of the key personnel of the Company and relevant corporations are set forth in Exhibit SWC-303.

5. SWC’s management team and key personnel have extensive business and aviation expertise and are well-qualified to conduct the operations proposed herein as reflected in their resumes and background information contained in Exhibit SWC-304. In fact, most of the key personnel have hands-on experience providing service in these markets with the same aircraft type that will be used by SWC making SWC particularly well suited to provide the scheduled commuter air transportation services for which authority is being requested.

6. SWC requests authority to engage in scheduled passenger operations as a commuter air carrier under the public charter rules of Part 380 of the Department’s Regulations. SWC will operate the proposed service with 30-seat Bombardier Inc. CL-600-2B19 (CRJ-200) that it will lease from its affiliate, SkyWest Leasing, Inc. These aircraft are ideally suited for the markets to be served by SWC and, in fact, have operated in the same and similar markets for many years by its affiliate, SkyWest Airlines.2 Additional information regarding the aircraft fleet and the Affidavit of Safety Compliance are attached hereto as Exhibits SWC-400 and SWC-401. SWC is working with the Allegheny FSDO to add the CRJs to its op specs.

7. The proposed flights will enable many underserved cities to have a frequency of service that provides them with a meaningful connection to the national transportation system. SWC also plans to have working arrangements with major airlines for the ease of the traveling public. A more detailed description of the service is contained in Exhibit SWC-500. The financial statements and traffic forecasts for the first normalized year are contained in Exhibits SWC 501-503.

8. Except as set forth in Exhibit SWC-600:
(a) there are no actions, judgments, investigations or other matters involving SWC, its relevant corporations, their key personnel or persons with a substantial interest

2 SkyWest Airlines has been operating as an air carrier since 1972 and its fitness has been reviewed and confirmed by the Department throughout the years of its operation. See, e.g., Orders 2011-12-11. SWC requests that the Department take official notice of SkyWest Airlines’ fitness.

therein,
(b) there are no pending court actions or outstanding judgments (whether or not in excess of $5,000) against the Company, relevant corporations of SWC, or any key personnel of, or person holding a substantial interest in, any relevant corporation
(c) there are no pending DOT or FAA investigations, enforcement actions or formal complaints regarding compliance with Title 49, Subtitle VII of the U.S. Code or orders, rule, regulations or requirements issued pursuant thereto against the Company or any relevant corporation, or key personnel of, or person holding a substantial interest in, the Company.
(d) there have been no charges of unfair or deception or anticompetitive business practice, or of fraud, felony or antitrust violations brought in the last 10 years against the Company or any relevant corporation, or key personnel of, or person holding a substantial interest in, any relevant corporation.
(e) there have been no aircraft accidents, as defined in 49 C.F.R. § 830.2, or incidents for which notification to the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) is required under 49 C.F.R. § 830.5, experienced by the Company, its key personnel or any relevant corporations, either (i) during the year immediately preceding this Application and Notice or (ii) that remain under investigation by the NTSB, FAA or the Company.

9. A description of the Company’s operating history and its current financial information is attached as Exhibit SWC-700. The consolidated financial statements for SkyWest, Inc. and its related companies are contained in the Form 10-K reports filed by SkyWest, Inc. with the SEC for the years ending December 31, 2019, 2020 and 2021, and the Form 10-Q for the first quarter of 2022 attached as Exhibits SWC-702-705.

10. Grant of the requested authority will not cause a near term net change in aircraft fuel consumption of 10 million gallons or more. Accordingly, no potential major regulatory action is involved, nor is an energy statement required under Part 313 of the Department’s Regulations.

11. An executed counterpart of Agreement 18900 (OST Form 4523) will be provided in a supplementary filing and filed with the Department’s Docket Operations Office (DOT-OST-1995-236).

12. A Certificate of Insurance (OST Form 6410) evidencing the minimum insurance coverage levels required under Part 205 of the Department’s Regulations will be provided in a supplementary filing.

13. The required certification, signed by the Company’s Chief Operating Officer is attached as Exhibit SWC-800.

14. SWC respectfully requests that this Application be processed pursuant to the expedited non-hearing procedures under Subpart B of the Department’s Rules of Practice. The requested authority is critical to maintaining service in the underserved markets identified herein. The evidence contained in this Application and the exhibits attached hereto clearly establishes that SWC is fit, willing and able to operate as a commuter air carrier providing scheduled passenger air transportation. This Application presents no issues of material fact, or other complex issues of law or policy. Expedited treatment of this Application will directly service the public interest by providing continuity of service to underserved markets and will make efficient use of the Department’s staff and resources. To help facilitate that objective, SWC requests that the order to show cause specify an answer period no longer than five business days.

WHEREFORE, SkyWest Charter, LLC respectfully requests that the Department issue a commuter air carrier authorization on an expedited basis allowing the Company to provide scheduled passenger operations as a commuter air carrier.

SkyWest aircraft photo gallery (in-house livery):

SkyWest to drop service to 29 EAS destinations

SkyWest Airlines has notified the DOT that it will drop service to 29 destinations in the next 90 days.

These destinations are served under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program.

The airline blamed the decision on the on-going pilot shortage.

SkyWest Airlines embarks on its 50th year, special livery coming?

Southwest Airlines made this announcement on January 1, 2022:

As we embark on our 50th year, we know that no matter the challenge, together we will succeed. Thank you to our incredible people who keep us flying.

The company has celebrated milestones in the past with special logo jets. Therefore a special livery is likely in 2022.

SkyWest Airlines (USA) Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) N821SK (msn 15109) (35 Years) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 903980.

Above Copyright Photo: SkyWest Airlines (USA) Bombardier CRJ900 (CL-600-2D24) N821SK (msn 15109) (35 Years) YYZ (TMK Photography). Image: 903980.

SkyWest Airlines aircraft slide show:

SkyWest Airlines aircraft photo gallery:

SkyWest and Eve announce partnership to develop regional operator network with an order for 100 eVTOL aircraft

Eve Air Mobility (Eve), an Embraer company, and SkyWest, Inc., announced today a Memorandum of Understanding and non-binding Letter of Intent for SkyWest to purchase 100 of Eve’s electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL). The partnership will focus on developing a network of deployment throughout the United States.

SkyWest and Eve have also committed to develop a portfolio of services-based capabilities to optimize eVTOL performance in key early adopter cities that will be prioritized for initial Urban Air Mobility operations. To support this effort, SkyWest and Eve plan to dedicate a team to focus on vehicle design, vertiport specifications, and the certification roadmap for eVTOL operations.

SkyWest has been an Embraer partner since 1986, bringing together the world’s largest regional airline operator and the world’s leading regional aircraft manufacturer. SkyWest, which operates Embraer’s commercial aircraft for major airline operators, chose Eve as its Urban Air Mobility partner due to its long record for certifying trusted aircraft for over 52 years. In addition to SkyWest’s LOI for 100 aircraft, both companies have agreed to form a working group to jointly evaluate the utilization of Eve’s next generation air traffic management and fleet operating solutions as the Urban Air Mobility industry prepares to scale over the next decade.

Delta to drop service to Grand Junction and Lincoln

Delta Air Lines has confirmed it will send all service on January 10, 2022 to Grand Junction, CO (above) and Lincoln, NE.

In addition, seasonal West Yellowstone service, which ended in October, will not be renewed next summer.

Delta is also suspending flights from its Detroit hub (above) to La Crosse, WI, and flights from its Minneapolis−St. Paul hub to Sawyer International Airport in Michigan, effective January 10. Seasonal service from Minneapolis−St. Paul (below) to Great Falls International Airport was suspended in October.

United and SkyWest to drop Tallahassee, Florida

United Airlines’ partner SkyWest Airlines operating as a United Express carrier will discontinue service to various markets, including Tallahassee, after October 1, 2021.

SkyWest adds 16 new E175s for the Delta contract, will replace 16 CRJ900s

SkyWest, Inc. today announced an agreement with Delta Air Lines to purchase and operate 16 new E175 aircraft under a multi-year capacity purchase agreement.

These aircraft are scheduled to be placed into service beginning in the first half of 2022, and will be placed into service ratably through year-end 2022.

The aircraft will be purchased by SkyWest from Embraer and delivered new from the factory.

SkyWest continues to be the largest owner/operator of the Embraer E175 aircraft in the world.

SkyWest expects the 16 new E175 aircraft will replace 16 SkyWest-owned or financed CRJ900s currently under its Delta contract, with expirations ranging from the second half of 2022 to early 2023. SkyWest is evaluating the impact of the anticipated displacement of the CRJ900s, including a potential non-cash impairment charge

United to pull out of Paine Field on October 5

Delivered on November 8, 2019

United Airlines has announced it will suspend the Denver – Everett (Paine Field) route on October 5. This was the only United Express route operated to PAE. It previously operated a route from PAE to the San Francisco hub.

PAE United Express flights are operated for United Airlines by SkyWest Airlines.

Alaska Airlines continues to operate out of Paine Field.

Top Copyright Photo: United Express-SkyWest Airlines Embraer ERJ 170-200LL (ERJ 175) N620UX (msn 17000824) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 953003.

United Express-SkyWest aircraft slide show:

SkyWest Airlines orders eight new E175 aircraft for operation with Alaska Airlines

Embraer has agreed to the sale of eight new E175 jets to SkyWest, Inc. for operation with Alaska Airlines, adding to the 32 SkyWest E175 jets SkyWest already flies for Alaska. The E175 aircraft will fly exclusively with Alaska Airlines under a Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA).

Alaska Airlines, a new member of the oneworld Alliance, currently has 62 Embraer E175 jets in their fleet, operated by Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines. The 76-seat aircraft will be delivered in Alaska’s livery and three-class configuration, starting in 2022.

SkyWest manages to turn a profit in the first quarter

American Eagle Airlines (2nd)-SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N703SK (msn 10139) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 937551.

SkyWest has issued this financial statement for the first quarter 2021:

First Quarter 2021 Highlights

  • Pre-tax income of $50 million, net income of $36 million, or $0.71 per diluted share
  • Placed nine used CRJ700 aircraft into service under a previously announced agreement with American Airlines; took delivery of one new CRJ900 aircraft under a previously announced agreement with Delta Air Lines
  • Named to Forbes America’s Best Employers 2021 List; also named a Best Place to Work in 2021, a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award

SkyWest, Inc. has reported financial and operating results for Q1 2021, including net income of $36 million, or $0.71 per diluted share, compared to net income of $30 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, for Q1 2020. Pre-tax income for Q1 2021 included $193 million in payroll support program grants received from U.S. Treasury Department (“U.S. Treasury”) reflected as a reduction to operating expenses.

Commenting on the results, Chip Childs, Chief Executive Officer of SkyWest, said, “We continued to see improvement in the demand for our product during the first quarter. Our strategy of investing in our fleet and delivering flexible solutions with solid operating performance to our customers continues to position SkyWest well for long-term success. I want to thank the SkyWest team for their commitment to excellence through these dynamic and challenging circumstances.”

Financial Results

Revenue was $535 million in Q1 2021, down from $730 million in Q1 2020, or 27%, due to a significant reduction in the number of flights SkyWest was scheduled to operate under its flying agreements compared to the same period last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. SkyWest’s Q1 2021 completed departures and block hours were down 26% and 23%, respectively, from Q1 2020.

SkyWest deferred recognizing revenue on $21 million of fixed monthly payments received during Q1 2021. SkyWest will recognize the deferred revenue from the fixed monthly payments on a per-completed, block hour basis over the remaining contract term.

Operating expenses were $454 million in Q1 2021, down from $664 million in Q1 2020, or 32%. The reduction was due to $193 million in payroll support program grants received from U.S. Treasury under a payroll support program extension agreement (“PSP2”) reflected in the Q1 2021 results. Operating expenses were also down due to fewer flights operated in Q1 2021 compared to the same period last year, partially offset by an increase in maintenance expense on SkyWest’s CRJ700 fleet.

Capital and Liquidity

SkyWest had $836 million in cash and marketable securities at March 31, 2021, up from $826 million at December 31, 2020.

SkyWest has $665 million of available borrowings under its $725 million, five-year secured loan facility with U.S. Treasury under the CARES Act. SkyWest has until May 28, 2021 to borrow additional amounts under the facility and is evaluating its future utilization of the facility.

SkyWest has a $75 million line of credit facility with approximately $34 million of letters of credit issued under the facility and $41 million available under the line at March 31, 2021.

As previously announced, SkyWest entered into PSP2 with U.S. Treasury in January 2021 and received total proceeds of $233 million during Q1. In consideration for the funding, approximately $40 million was in the form of a ten-year, low interest unsecured term loan and SkyWest issued to U.S. Treasury warrants to purchase 98,815 shares of SkyWest common stock at a strike price of $40.41. In April 2021, SkyWest received additional proceeds of approximately $35 million under PSP2. In consideration of the additional funding, approximately $10.5 million was in the form of a ten-year, low interest unsecured term loan and SkyWest issued to U.S. Treasury warrants to purchase an additional 25,958 shares of SkyWest common stock at a strike price of $40.41.

Total debt at March 31, 2021 was $3.1 billion, down from $3.2 billion at December 31, 2021. Capital expenditures during Q1 2021 were $56 million for the purchase of four used CRJ700 aircraft, spare engines and other fixed assets.

As previously announced, SkyWest entered into a payroll support program 3 agreement (“PSP3”) with U.S. Treasury in April 2021 to receive total proceeds of approximately $250 million under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. SkyWest received half of the $250 million in April 2021 and expects to receive the remainder during the second quarter of 2021. In consideration for the funding, approximately $45 million will be in the form of a ten-year, low interest unsecured term loan, and SkyWest will issue to U.S. Treasury warrants to purchase approximately 78,317 shares of SkyWest common stock at a strike price of $57.47.

Status Update on Previously Announced Agreements

SkyWest is coordinating with its major airline partners to optimize the timing of upcoming fleet deliveries under previously announced agreements in response to COVID-19 schedule reductions. The anticipated future delivery dates summarized below are based on currently available information and are subject to change.

Flying contract with Delta Air Lines (“Delta”)

  • One new CRJ900, financed by Delta and operated by SkyWest was delivered in Q1 2021,

Flying contract with American Airlines (“American”) for 20 E175 aircraft

  • 18 aircraft deliveries are anticipated in the second half of 2021 and two deliveries are expected in 2022. The aircraft are scheduled to be placed into service in 2022.
  • SkyWest anticipates financing the aircraft through debt,

Flying contract with American for CRJ700 aircraft

  • SkyWest placed nine used CRJ700s in service during Q1 2021.
  • SkyWest anticipates placing an additional 16 used CRJ700s into service over the remainder of 2021.
  • SkyWest expects to have 90 CRJ700s under agreement with American by the end of 2021.

Top Copyright Photo: American Eagle Airlines (2nd)-SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ700 (CL-600-2C10) N703SK (msn 10139) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 937551.

American Eagle-SkyWest aircraft slide show:

American Eagle Route Map: