United is reducing 29 cities indefinitely this summer because its partner SkyWest Airlines does not have enough pilots to fly the route — see the full list

United Express Aircraft

United Express AircraftWilliam Howard / Shutterstock

  • United Airlines contractor SkyWest Airlines notified the Department of Transport on Thursday 90 days in advance that it would leave 29 airports.

  • All airports are part of the Federal Mandatory Aviation Regulations Program, ensuring that airlines are in a small community.

  • DOT can implement a “waiting list” that forces SkyWest to stay until an alternative airline is found.

in progress Lack of pilots SkyWest Airlines Cut service In 29 cities in the United States serving through the Federal Essential Air Services (EAS) program, the company writes: 90 days notice to the Ministry of Transport On thursday.

“As a result of continued pilot staff imbalances across the industry, SkyWest plans to discontinue service in several markets starting this summer,” the airline told insiders.

All affected routes operate on behalf of United Airlines as United Express. United said in a statement to insiders that it is fighting a pilot shortage by opening its own flight school, the Aviate Academy, to train “5,000 pilots in the last decade.”

The 29 cities are:

  • Alamosa, Colorado

  • Pueblo, Colorado

  • Fort Dodge, Iowa

  • Mason City, Iowa

  • Sioux City, Iowa

  • Dodge City, Kansas

  • Hays, Kansas

  • Liberal, Kansas

  • Salina, Kansas

  • Paducah, Kentucky

  • Decatur, Illinois

  • Houghton, Michigan

  • Muskegon, Michigan

  • Cape Girardeau, Missouri

  • Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri

  • Joplin, Missouri

  • Meridian, Mississippi

  • Hattiesburg, Mississippi

  • Devils Lake, North Dakota

  • Jamestown, North Dakota

  • Kearney, Nebraska

  • North Platte, Nebraska

  • Scottsbluff, Nebraska

  • Johnstown, Pennsylvania

  • Victoria, Texas

  • Shenandoah, Virginia

  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin

  • Clarksburg, West Virginia

  • Lewisburg, West Virginia

“Passengers who book beyond the service date will be contacted to make another arrangement,” SkyWest added.

Staff at the affected locations “will be offered a variety of options, including in-house transfers.” SkyWest also operates flights with Delta, American and Alaska Airlines.

Routes to regional airports have become a common victim of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shortage of pilots, shortage of personnel, high fuel costs, etc. Forced airlines to drop unsustainable markets..

Career told insiders, Travel Analyst and President of the Atmospheric Research Group, Henry Hartebert. There is no “civic responsibility” to continue service It will reduce cities that are unprofitable markets and “do not benefit them”.

In November, United announced that it will drop 11 small cities indefinitelyWhen Delta disconnects three airports one month later. Shortly thereafter, United CEO Scott Kirby said: Due to a shortage of pilots, the airline has landed 100 regional jets.Most of them are 50-seater planes that regularly fly to small communities.

Fortunately for the airports dropped by SkyWest, they are all part of the federal government. Mandatory aviation regulations Enacted program After deregulation of the aviation industry in 1978.. EAS pays airlines benefits to fly from a particular regional market to a larger hub. This ensures that small communities do not lose airlinks to other parts of the country.

SkyWest’s announcement means that more than a quarter of the 100 airports on the EAS list may temporarily lose civil aviation services. However, the Department of Transport can request the carrier to operate until a replacement is found.

SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 Aircraft

SkyWest Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft.Heather Dunbar / Shutterstock.com

For example, SkyWest in January Notify DOT By mid-April, he will depart from Ogdensburg and Plattsburgh International Airports in New York, citing issues related to staffing.

However, the agency “Waiting for” SkyWest prohibits airlines from terminating services to the city until a new EAS airline is selected.This decision was made by Senator Charles Schumer of New York. Letter to the agency “Temporarily maintain service while they are [DOT] Work quickly with local stakeholders to identify new carriers that offer EAS. “

According to a press release from Fort Dodge Regional AirportSkyWest, one of the EAS cities that has lost its service, “continues to fly” until a new airline is found.

Read the original article Business Insider