SkyWest asks to use charter flights to augment service in Sioux City

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 4:40 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Skywest Airlines hopes to maintain service at the Sioux Gateway Airport by using a part of federal law originally intended for charter planes.

According to aviation experts, the regulation allows air carriers to fly up to five scheduled flights per week on an aircraft with a maximum of 30 passengers. Currently Skywest, which operates United Express service out of Sioux City, uses 50 seat aircraft and flies round-trip to Denver and Chicago 12 times per week.

But service at the airport is slated to drop to seven flights per week because of pilot shortages, if the U.S. Department of Transportation approves. Instead, SkyWest may be able to maintain a similar level of flights flying charter service out of Sioux City, though some flights would have fewer passengers.

“I think when we talked with them, it was important because they’re looking at other ways to provide service, and that’s encouraging for us is, they’re looking for ways to provide service given the current environment. And this is one way they can do it,” said Mike Collett, an assistant city manager.

While Skywest hopes to use charter service, Collett says things wouldn’t look any different for a passenger booking a flight. It’s up to the DOT to approve the airline’s request to use charter service and determine how many flights per week must be flown out of Sioux City.

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