Skywest continues to serve Panhandle area
SCOTTSBLUFF -- Western Nebraska Regional Airport will continue to see Skywest flights between Scottsbluff and Denver International Airport.
The airport was in danger of losing its service to Denver following COVID.
"Skywest has been with us for five years now; about three years under their initial contract and when COVID hit and the pilot shortage, it really strangled them. They sent out a letter nationwide that they were going to pull out of all their EAS cities, essential air service. Us and North Platte, and Salina, Kan., were very fortunate because we had contracts written in such a way that they were held in until they either could deliver us a new contract, or give us a suitable replacement. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for Skywest, there is nobody big enough left in the game," said Raul Aguallo, Executive Director for Western Nebraska Regional Airport.
Aguallo said there are no carriers big enough to pick up the cities that still had a holding order on Skywest.
"We've been in a holding order now for two years. They're basically flying exactly like they did. They public probably didn't see much difference. There was a little uneasiness because ... the public was always a little leery because they were sure if they (Skywest) was going to pull out," Aguallo said.
Skywest is committed to 12 flights to DIA weekly; two flights daily with one flight per day Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Western Nebraska Regional Airport traces its history to World War 2 when it was considered a satellite airfield by the U.S. Army Air Forces. It now covers 1,806 acres, has two runways, and thousands of flights annually.