SkyWest Airlines is founded on April 26th when Ralph Atkin buys Dixie Airlines. The operation includes a Fixed Base Operation (FBO) that offers aircraft maintenance, air ambulance service, air charter service and flight school.
SkyWest holds an open house on June 17th to celebrate the launch of their passenger service. The festivities included “penny-a-pound” airplane rides along with parachutists and aerobatic flight stunts.
Ron Reber is hired as a ticket agent in Cedar City (CDC). With his burger and fries spread out over the counter he asks a “familiar looking stranger” if he minds waiting while he finishes his lunch. Robert Redford said that he didn’t mind at all.
New destinations added by the acquisition are Yuma, Ariz., San Diego, Imperial, Ontario, Bakersfield, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Burbank and Borrego Springs, Calif. as well as service between Las Vegas and Carson City, Nev.
SkyWest becomes the twenty-fourth regional airline to offer its stock publicly. The shares are traded on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol SKYW. The initial purchase offer was 1 to 1.25 million shares at $10 a share.
The money raised by the stock offering is also used for the acquisition of five new EMB 120 Brasilia turboprop aircraft, delivered from Brazil on December 24. Klen Brooks and Earl Snow fly the Brasilia 25 hours to SGU.
A 70,000 square foot maintenance hangar in SLC is announced and will be operational in July of 1991. With the ability to house 10-12 aircraft, it will be the largest of three SkyWest maintenance bases.
SkyWest begins operating as United Express on October 1, in St. George, Utah, Yuma, Ariz., Las Vegas, Nev. and Los Angeles, Burbank, Fresno, Imperial, Monterey, Ontario, Palm Springs, San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria, Calif.
A new 11-year rate and growth agreement is reached with United Airlines, making SkyWest the largest United Express carrier. The agreement calls for SkyWest to operate a fleet of 140 aircraft, including 55 turbo-prop and 50-seat regional jets.
SkyWest adds a third aircraft type to its fleet; the 70-passenger Bombardier manufactured Canadair Regional Jet 700 (CRJ700). Service begins February 15 between Salt Lake City, Utah, Denver, Colo. and Wichita, Kan.
SkyWest Airlines and AirTran Airways forge a new partnership to operate five 50-seat CRJ200 aircraft between Milwaukee and six destinations. The first flights begin from Milwaukee to Pittsburgh and St. Louis in Dec.
SkyWest Airlines wins its third Bombardier Airline Reliability Award for having the highest dispatch reliability. SkyWest places first overall in the CRJ200 product category for the North America region.
SkyWest’s InFlight Department celebrates 25 years of in-flight service. The initial new hire flight attendant class in 1986 had just 24 students. By 2011, the department consists of more than 2,200 men and women who provide for the safety and service of SkyWest's millions of passengers each year.
SkyWest announces a new Capacity Purchase Agreement (“CPA”) with American Airlines to operate 23 Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet aircraft under the American Eagle designation. The flights, operated primarily out of LAX, commence on Nov. 15.
SkyWest Airlines receives Bombardier’s Airline Reliability Performance Award for the third year running for the CRJ200, and is newly awarded for the CRJ700 and CRJ900 this year, sweeping all product categories.
SkyWest, Inc. announces an agreement with Embraer for the purchase of 100 new E175 dual-class jet aircraft, with 40 firm deliveries anticipated in 2014-15. The agreement also includes options for an additional 100 E175 aircraft and would be valued at $8.3 billion if all 200 aircraft are ordered. SkyWest Airlines will operate the 40 firm E175 deliveries under a new Capacity Purchase Agreement (“CPA”) with United Airlines.
Mike Thompson was named COO of SkyWest Airlines in May 2014 and is responsible to oversee the airline’s operations. He previously served as Vice President of Market Development where he managed SkyWest’s pro-rate operations and helped adapt to rapidly changing network needs across the industry.
SkyWest built a new 130,000 square-foot maintenance hangar in Boise, Idaho to help support large, dual-class aircraft. The facility is also geographically positioned to ensure the fleet receives regular touch time by mechanics.
On Jan. 1, 2016, Chip Childs succeeded Jerry Atkin as the President and CEO of SkyWest, Inc. Chip was also elected to the SkyWest, Inc. Board of Directors. Jerry continues actively serving the company as SkyWest, Inc. Chairman of the Board.