Originally Published: July 17, 2018 1 p.m.
It is now official: SkyWest Airlines has been chosen by the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide commercial service at the Prescott Airport.
The City of Prescott announced in a Tuesday, July 17, news release that SkyWest Airlines, operating as United Express, was approved to provide Essential Air Service (EAS) at Prescott Municipal Airport (PRC) for a period of two years, beginning in late August.
This follows the endorsement for the airline by the City of Prescott and the Town of Prescott Valley.
“United Express will operate 50-seat CRJ 200 jets from Prescott, with roundtrip flights daily to Denver, and six days a week to Los Angeles, every day except Saturday,” the news release stated.
Prescott Airport Director Robin Sobotta notes that passengers will be able to connect through Denver or Los Angeles to hundreds of destinations throughout the world.
Travelers will be able to book tickets using the United Airlines website beginning the week of July 23, or they can use online travel websites, or local travel agents, the release added.
Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli says United Express will change the travel paradigm for area residents.
“For years we have all operated under the mind set of going to Phoenix for air travel,” said Mengarelli. “Travelers can now fly anywhere they want in the world conveniently from Prescott. Our thanks to Dr. Sobotta and the team that brought this together.”
Sobotta added: “We are so pleased with the Department of Transportation, our local leaders who voiced support for this service, the Airport Advisory Committee, and our dedicated airport staff for bringing all of this together. It is a new day for commercial air service in Prescott.”
Prescott Valley Mayor Harvey Skoog said that SkyWest Airlines is the right choice for essential air service.
“Our leadership wholeheartedly supports the selection of SkyWest Airlines. They have a solid reputation of providing reliable air service to communities across the country. I am certain they will meet the needs of Prescott Valley and the entire region.”
Prescott Chamber of Commerce President Sheri Heiney said that the new essential air service will be good for business.
“Los Angeles is the number two market for tourism in Prescott,” Heiney said. “The added convenience of flying directly into Prescott will strengthen our appeal as a destination for leisure and business travel.”
On July 3, the City of Prescott recommended SkyWest Airlines, operating as United Express, as their preferred carrier for EAS at PRC. Prescott City Council unanimously approved a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Transportatin to select SkyWest Airlines- United Express as the region’s EAS provider.
On March 26, the city’s previous carrier, Great Lakes Airlines, ceased service at the local airport, resulting in a federal request for proposals from airlines interested in providing EAS at the airport, which were due July 2.
Seven proposals were received, from: Advanced Air, ADI/California Pacific Airlines, Boutique Air, Key Lime Air, Mokulele Airlines, Silver Airways, and SkyWest Airlines – bidding a variety of locations including Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Hawthorne, California.
Three of the bids involved using regional jets.
SkyWest Airlines is based in St. George, Utah. According to their website, SkyWest Airlines has over 13,000 aviation professionals operating over 2,400 daily flights, Sky West Airlines connects millions of passengers each month to 245 destinations across North America. Sky West Airlines operates in partnership with Delta Airlines, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines, and has a fleet of 443 aircraft.