Tag Archives: Great Lakes Airlines USA

Update: Great Lakes Airlines shuts down all operations

Great Lakes Airlines (USA) Beech (Raytheon) 1900D N220GL (msn UE-220) (Alamosa, Colorado) LAX (Ton Jochems). Image: 921503.

Great Lakes Airlines today (March 28) has decided to end all operations. The carrier today issued this updated statement:

Great Lakes Airlines (GLUX), a regional airline, operating domestic scheduled and charter services, announced on March 28, 2018 that it has discontinued its scheduled passenger flight operations.

After 40 years of servicing regional airports in the Midwestern and Western regions of the United States, Great Lakes Airlines has begun implementing employee layoffs.

The airline, which owns a fleet of aircraft, comprised of 28 Beechcraft 1900Ds and six Embraer 120 Brasilias, hopes to sell its remaining assets to interested parties. Critical staff members needed to support the scheduled airline certificate, repair station certificate, reservation platform and maintain the fleet will be kept onboard until the airline’s assets can be sold.

On August 1, 2015 a change in Flight Officer Qualifications (FOQ), requiring first officers to possess Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certifications and an associated increase in the number of flight experience hours necessary for newly hired pilots, significantly reduced the amount of qualified pilots available for smaller airlines. This change caused Great Lakes Airlines, for the past five years, to suspend flights to small cities in the Upper Midwest and Western Regions of the U.S. as a result of its inability to employ pilots.

The last flight departed on Monday evening, March 26, 2018. All customers who have purchased tickets for flights departing after that date will receive full refunds.

About Great Lakes Airlines

Founded in 1977 by Doug Voss and Ivan Simpson in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Great Lakes Airlines is a regional airline operating domestic scheduled and charter services. The airline’s corporate headquarters are located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with a hub at Denver International Airport.

Copyright Photo: Great Lakes Airlines (USA) Beech (Raytheon) 1900D N220GL (msn UE-220) (Alamosa, Colorado) LAX (Ton Jochems). Image: 921503.

Great Lakes Airlines aircraft slide show:

Great Lakes suspends scheduled turboprop flight operations

Great Lakes Airlines (USA) Beech (Raytheon) 1900D N202UX (msn UE-202) (Dodge City, Kansas) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 913939.

Great Lakes Airlines has issued this statement:

At midnight on Monday, 3/26/18, Great Lakes suspended scheduled flight operations as an air carrier.

Although we are ceasing flight operations, it is important to note that the company has not entered bankruptcy and will continue to operate certain segments of the business. We will continue to support the ADI flights operating between Denver, Pierre and Watertown.

Aerodynamics, Inc. continues to operate scheduled service between the cities of Denver, CO, Pierre, SD and Watertown, SD.

The previous route map in January 2014:

The new route map:

Copyright Photo: Great Lakes Airlines (USA) Beech (Raytheon) 1900D N202UX (msn UE-202) (Dodge City, Kansas) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 913939.

Great Lakes aircraft slide show:

Great Lakes Airlines to end service early at several cities

Great Lakes Airlines (Cheyenne) has announced it will end Essential Air Service (EAS) passenger service a month early at Great Bend, Kansas on April 1. The struggling regional carrier will also end passenger flights at Dickinson, North Dakota on March 26 after 21 years. Williston, North Dakota will be dropped on March 30. Great Lakes will also suspend operations at McCook, Nebraska on April 1. The airline is blaming a pilot shortage but critics state the company does pay enough to attract enough pilots.

SeaPort Airlines has bid on the routes with the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Great Lakes has received permission to operate some of their Beech 1900Ds with only 9 seats (please see the seating diagram below) rather than the normal 19 seats so the aircraft can be operated under Part 135 regulations. This allows the company to hire First Officers who have less the 1500 hours FAA requirement. The aircraft still have a captain with at least 1500 hours of experience with an ATP rating. Even with this measure, the airline was not able to stave off the termination of service to these affected cities.

Great Lakes Fleet Seat Plan

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Beech (Raytheon) 1900D N201GL (msn UE-201) with a promotional Pierre, South Dakota image on the tail arrives at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Great Lakes: AG Slide Show

The shrinking Great Lakes Route Map (routes shown as of February 1):

Great Lakes 3.2014 Route Map

Great Lakes Airlines suspends service to six airports due to a pilot shortage

Great Lakes Aviation, Ltd. (Great Lakes Airlines) (Cheyenne, Wyoming) on February 1 suspended service to and from Devils Lake and Jamestown, North Dakota; Fort Dodge and Mason City, Iowa; Ironwood, Michigan; and Thief River Falls, Minnesota due to the severe industry-wide pilot shortage and its relative acute impact on Great Lakes according to a company statement.

Charles Howell, CEO released the following statement: “Due to the unintended consequences of the new congressionally mandated pilot regulatory requirements, the company feels it is in the best interest of our customers, communities, and employees to suspend service from these stations until we are able to rebuild our staff of pilots in order to provide reliable service. We deeply regret and apologize for this inconvenience.”

All customers with future flights in any of these stations will be given refunds.

Editor’s Comment: Many pilots and pilot groups (as the comments will attest) would strongly argue it is not a pilot shortage issue facing GLA but a pay issue. Simply put, higher pilot wages would probably attract more applications.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Great Lakes promotes many of its destination with area displays on the tails. Beech (Raytheon) 1900D N202UX (msn UE-202) promotes Dodge City, Kansas as it arrives in Los Angeles.

Great Lakes Airlines: AG Slide Show

Updated Route Map: Despite its name, the airline does not serve a city on any of the Great Lakes.

Great Lakes 2.2014 Route Map

Great Lakes Airlines’ passenger numbers decline for year-to-date

Great Lakes Airlines (Great Lakes Aviation) (Cheyenne) today (June 7) announced preliminary passenger traffic results for the month of May 2013.

MAY 2013 AND YEAR TO DATE STATISTICS
May-13  May-12 Change
Passengers Enplaned 42,390 49,088 (13.6)%
Revenue Passenger Miles (000) 12,435 15,614 (20.4)%
Available Seat Miles (000) 31,605 34,991 (9.7)%
Load Factor 39.4% 44.6%  (5.2) pts
RASM (cents) 33.12 34.78 (4.8)%
YTD 2013 YTD 2012 Change
Passengers Enplaned 188,902 216,872 (12.9)%
Revenue Passenger Miles (000) 55,665 70,138 (20.6)%
Available Seat Miles (000) 150,968 163,503 (7.7)%
Load Factor 36.9% 42.9% (6.0) pts
RASM (cents) 32.18 32.97 (2.4)%

For the year, the feeder airline suffered a 12.9 percent decline in passenger numbers for the period though the end of May.

The carrier provides Essential Air Service (EAS) throughout the Plains, Rocky Mountain and Four Corners areas (see map below). Great Lakes provides scheduled passenger service at 45 airports in thirteen states with a fleet of Embraer EMB-120 Brasilias and Beechcraft 1900D regional airliners.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Beech (Raytheon) 1900D N100UX (msn UE-100) promotes the ski destination of Telluride, Colorado.

Great Lakes Airlines: AG Slide Show

Video: Flying into Telluride, Colorado on a Beech 1900D:

Route Map: Other than Ironwood, Michigan, none of the current GLA destinations touches on the Great Lakes. New name coming?

Great Lakes 5:2013 Route Map