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SkyWest Airlines is a North American regional airline headquartered in St. George, Utah. It is a regional airline and primarily serves major air carriers via contracts with American Airlines (as American Eagle), Delta Air Lines (as Delta Connection), and United Airlines (as United Express). SkyWest is primarily paid to operate and maintain aircraft used on flights that are scheduled, marketed, and priced by a partner mainline airline. In all, it is the largest regional airline in North America when measured by fleet size, number of passengers carried, and number of destinations served between all the airlines it contracts with.

SkyWest Airlines
SkyWest Airlines (United States) logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
AOC #SWIA011A[2]
Hubsas American Eagle:

as Alaska SkyWest:

as Delta Connection:

as United Express:

Frequent-flyer programAAdvantage (as American Eagle)
Mileage Plan (as Alaska SkyWest)
SkyMiles (as Delta Connection)
MileagePlus (as United Express)
AllianceSkyTeam (as Delta Connection)
Star Alliance (as United Express)
Oneworld (as American Eagle)
Fleet size493[3]
Parent companySkyWest, Inc.
HeadquartersSt. George, Utah, United States[4]
Key peopleJerry Atkin (Chairman)
Chip Childs (President and CEO)
Mike Thompson (COO)

SkyWest operates an average of more than 2,200 flights per day to 250 cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico with an extensive network of routes largely set up to connect passengers between smaller airports and the large hubs of its partner airlines. In total, SkyWest carried 35.9 million passengers in 2017.

Under various contracts, the company operates an average of 697 flights per day as Delta Connection on behalf of Delta Air Lines, 412 flights per day as United Express on behalf of United Airlines, 332 flights per day as American Eagle on behalf of American Airlines, and 14 flights per day as Alaska SkyWest in partnership with Alaska Airlines.

The vast majority of SkyWest's contracts are fixed-fee, with partner airlines paying a set amount for each flight operated, regardless of the number of passengers carried. The remaining 7% of flights are operated under a pro-rate contract, with SkyWest assuming all costs, setting fares, retaining all revenue from non-connecting passengers, and splitting the fares of connecting passengers on a pro-rated basis with the partner airline. SkyWest currently operates on a pro-rate basis on 68 routes across 10 hubs through agreements with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines.[6]

SkyWest is owned by SkyWest, Inc., an airline holding company. SkyWest also provides contract ground handling services at airports across the United States.


SkyWest Airlines headquarters in St. George, Utah
Former Embraer EMB-120 in SkyWest livery

Frustrated by the limited extent of existing air service, Ralph Atkin, a St. George, Utah lawyer, purchased Dixie Airlines to shuttle businessmen to Salt Lake City in 1972.[7] After early struggles, SkyWest began a steady expansion across the western U.S. It became the eleventh largest regional carrier in 1984 when it acquired Sun Aire Lines of Palm Springs, California, and had its initial public offering in 1986.[8]

In 1985, SkyWest began codesharing as Western Express, a feeder service for Western Airlines at its Salt Lake City hub and other mainline Western destinations utilizing Embraer EMB-120 and Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprop aircraft.[9] Following the acquisition and merger of Western by Delta Air Lines in 1986, SkyWest then became a Delta Connection air carrier with code share service being flown on behalf of Delta to destinations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.[10][11] In 1995, SkyWest began operating flights for Continental Airlines out of LAX. The relationship was discontinued two years later when SkyWest began flying for United Airlines. SkyWest's United Express flights out of SFO, LAX and DEN became its largest operation by the late 1990s. A partnership with Continental was revived in 2003 out of George Bush Intercontinental Airport, but was discontinued in June 2005. On August 15, 2005, Delta sold Atlantic Southeast Airlines to the newly incorporated SkyWest, Inc. for $425 million in cash.[12] The acquisition was completed on September 8, 2005.[13]

On August 4, 2010, SkyWest, Inc. announced that it planned to acquire ExpressJet Airlines and merge it with SkyWest subsidiary Atlantic Southeast Airlines in a deal reported to have a value of $133 million. The purchase aligned the largest commuter operations of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, who were in a merger process, and was approved on September 13, 2010, by the Federal Trade Commission.[14]

In May 2011, SkyWest replaced six Horizon Air flights on the West Coast being operated for Alaska Airlines. The flights were based out of Seattle and Portland, and fly to several California cities including Fresno, Burbank, Santa Barbara and Ontario. Alaska Airlines has similar agreements with PenAir for Alaskan flights and Horizon Air for flights in the lower 48.[15]

On September 6, 2011, AirTran Airways ended its codesharing and partnership with SkyWest.[16] Shortly after, SkyWest began a codesharing agreement with US Airways to operate CRJ200 aircraft from US Airways' hub in Phoenix, Arizona.[17]

On November 15, 2012, SkyWest began a capacity purchase agreement with American Airlines for 12 CRJ200 aircraft from American's hub in Los Angeles, California.[18]

A SkyWest Embraer E175 operating for Alaska Airlines

On September 6, 2017, SkyWest Airlines reported that it has entered into aircraft purchase agreements and capacity purchase agreements to acquire and fly 15 new aircraft with Delta Air Lines and 10 new aircraft with Alaska Airlines. Of the 25 aircraft, 15 Embraer E175 SC aircraft will fly under an agreement with Delta in a 70-seat configuration. The E175 SC aircraft has an E175 airframe and can be retrofitted to 76 seats in the future. The agreement with Alaska includes 10 Embraer E175s, which will be configured with 76 seats, similar to aircraft SkyWest has previously placed into service with Alaska. Expected delivery dates of the 25 aircraft run from March 2018 through the end of 2018.[19]

On December 18, 2018, SkyWest, Inc. announced that it would sell ExpressJet Airlines to another airline holding company with ties to United Airlines, ExpressJet's sole client.[20][21] The $70 million sale closed on January 23, 2019.[22]



Alaska Airlines Embraer E175 Owned and operated by SkyWest for Alaska parked at the gate at Fresno Yosemite International Airport
Embraer E175, owned and operated by SkyWest for Delta Connection approaching LaGuardia Airport.

SkyWest has the largest fleet of any regional airline in the United States. Since 2015, the airline exclusively operates jet aircraft.

SkyWest, like most regional airlines in the United States, is subject to scope clause requirements of its mainline carrier partners and their pilot unions. Those requirements limit the size of the aircraft flown by regional airlines, measured in seat capacity. This has created three subgroups of aircraft flown by SkyWest: aircraft with no more than 50 seats, no more than 70 seats and no more than 76 seats.

Bombardier CRJ200 operated by SkyWest sits on the ramp of Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. While most aircraft operated by SkyWest are painted in the livery of partner carriers, the airline does keep a small fleet of aircraft painted in its own livery for use on any partner airline when needed. At the time this photo was taken, the aircraft was being used to operate flights for Alaska Airlines.

Current fleetEdit

As of December 2019, the SkyWest Airlines fleet consists of the following regional jet aircraft either in operation or on order for delivery:[3][24]

Aircraft In service Orders Passengers Operated for Notes
F Y+ Y Total
50 Seat Jets
Bombardier CRJ-100 3 4 46 50 Delta Connection
1 50 SkyWest Airlines
1 United Express
Bombardier CRJ-200 84 4 46 Delta Connection
12 50 SkyWest Airlines
98 United Express
Total For Category 199
70 Seat Jets
Bombardier CRJ-700 44 10 9 16 40 65 American Eagle Deliveries scheduled to go in service 2020
5 SkyWest Airlines
13 44 69 Delta Connection
18 6 48 70 American Eagle
1 SkyWest Airlines
19 United Express
Bombardier CRJ-900 12 1 12 20 38 Delta Connection Orders to be delivered through 2020.[25]
Embraer E175 30 7
Total For Category 142
76 Seat Jets
Bombardier CRJ-900 31 12 20 44 76 Delta Connection
Embraer E175 32 12 52 Alaska Airlines
24 10[26] 20 44 Delta Connection Six transfers from Compass Airlines[citation needed]
65 16 48 United Express
Embraer E175-E2 100
Launch customer.
Delivery starting 2021.[27]
Mitsubishi M90 100
Delivery starting 2020.[28][29]
Total For Category 152
Total 493 228

Fleet developmentEdit

In mid-2019 SkyWest signed a firm order for 7 Embraer E175 aircraft, in a 70-seat layout, to be operated for DeltaConnection and with deliveries starting in the last quarter of 2019.[30]

Former fleetEdit

SkyWest previously operated Embraer EMB-120 turboprop aircraft until 2015. The airline also previously operated Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprops (Metro II and Metro III models).[10] In 1984, SkyWest was operating the largest Metro propjet fleet in the world with 26 aircraft, and by 1991 the Metro fleet had grown to 35 aircraft with 15 Brasilia propjets being operated as well.[10] By 1994, the first jet, a Bombardier CRJ-100, was added to the fleet and by 1996 all of the Metro propjets had been retired as they were progressively replaced with Brasilia aircraft.[10]

According to the airline's website, at its inception SkyWest was operating all flights in the early 1970s with small propeller driven, piston engine aircraft, including:[10]

Accidents and incidentsEdit

SkyWest Airlines has never been cited or found at fault in a fatal accident or incident. Incidents include:

  • January 15, 1987: SkyWest Airlines Flight 1834 a Fairchild Metro collided with a Mooney M20 transporting an instructor and a student, while on a flight between Pocatello, Idaho to Salt Lake City, Utah in the vicinity of Kearns, Utah. All 10 people on Flight 1834 and the 2 occupants of the Mooney were killed. The accident was found to be a navigation error of the student pilot aboard the Mooney.[31]
  • January 15, 1990: SkyWest Airlines Flight 5855, a Fairchild Metro collided with terrain during an instrument approach to Elko, Nevada. There were four serious and nine minor injuries.[citation needed]
  • February 1, 1991: SkyWest Airlines Flight 5569, a Fairchild Metro was awaiting departure clearance on an active runway at Los Angeles International Airport for a scheduled flight to Palmdale, California when USAir Flight 1493 arriving from Columbus, Ohio collided with it while it was landing. Skywest 5569 was directed to position and hold on runway 24L at the intersection of taxiway 45. US1493 was cleared to land on 24L one minute later by the same local controller. One minute later, the 737 touched down, then landed on the SkyWest Metro, which was still holding in position 2,400 feet (730 m) from the runway threshold. The two planes slid down the runway, then off to the side, coming to rest against an unoccupied firehouse, and burst into flames. All 12 people on the Metro were killed (10 passengers and 2 pilots), and 22 of the 89 aboard the 737 perished (20 passengers, 1 pilot and 1 flight attendant). The cause was found to be air traffic controller error.[citation needed]
  • May 21, 1997: SkyWest Flight 5724, an Embraer EMB-120, N198SW, experienced a total loss of engine power to the right engine and associated engine fire, followed by a total loss of all airplane hydraulic systems, after takeoff from San Diego International Airport, San Diego, California. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The 2 pilots, 1 flight attendant, and 14 passengers were not injured. Skywest Airlines was operating the airplane as a scheduled, domestic, passenger flight under 14 CFR Part 121. The flight was destined for Los Angeles, California. It diverted to Miramar NAS, San Diego, where it landed at 14:27 local time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and an IFR flight plan was filed.[citation needed]
  • May 26, 2007: SkyWest Airlines flight 5741, an Embraer EMB-120, was involved in a serious runway incursion when the plane nearly collided with Republic Airlines flight 4912, an Embraer E170, on intersecting runways at San Francisco International Airport. There were no reported injuries to passengers and no reported damage to either aircraft. According to the NTSB, the FAA traffic controller was at fault and the aircraft were between 50 ft (15 m) and 300 ft (91 m) apart.[citation needed]
  • January 13, 2008: A United Airlines Boeing 757-200 jet with maintenance workers on board at San Francisco International Airport backed into SkyWest Airlines Flight 6398, a Bombardier CRJ-700 carrying 60 passengers and crew. The collision occurred at 7:30 p.m. as the 757 was being taken out of service and being moved without passengers from Gate 80 to a hangar for the night. The passengers on board the SkyWest plane were taken off the plane, which had left its gate and was waiting to depart to Boise, Idaho. Both planes suffered tail and engine damage, but no one on board either plane was injured.[32]
  • September 7, 2008: SkyWest Airlines flight 6430, a Bombardier CRJ-700 operating as a United Express flight from Los Angeles, California ran off a runway after landing in San Antonio, Texas. An airport spokesman indicated that the aircraft appeared to be having mechanical difficulties, and resulted in the airport's primary runway being closed for two hours until the aircraft could be removed. No injuries were reported among the 52 passengers and 4 crew members on board.[33][34]
  • May 23, 2010: SkyWest Airlines flight 6467, a Bombardier CRJ-200 operating as a United Express flight from San Francisco, California landed in Ontario, California with the nose gear retracted. No injuries were reported among the 24 passengers and 3 crew aboard.[35][36]
  • July 17, 2012: An out-of-service SkyWest Bombardier CRJ-200 operating for Delta Connection was stolen by a SkyWest pilot on administrative leave, after murdering his girlfriend several days earlier, and substantially damaged at the St. George Regional Airport in St. George, Utah.[37] The pilot started the engines and taxied the aircraft into a parking lot, striking the terminal and damaging several parked cars in the process. He would die from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The aircraft was out of service and there were no other passengers or crew on board.[38]
  • May 11, 2015: SkyWest Flight 5316, a Bombardier CRJ-200 operating as a United Express flight from Monterey, California to Los Angeles, California landed after its landing gear failed to fully deploy. The left wing scraped the ground on Runway 24 Left. All 40 passengers and three crew members safely deplaned and no injuries were reported.[39]
  • December 4, 2016: SkyWest Airlines flight 5588, an Embraer E175 operating as a United Express flight from George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Monterrey, Mexico, was diverted to San Antonio International Airport after experiencing an abnormal landing gear indication. Upon landing, the nose gear of the aircraft collapsed, and the aircraft came to rest on runway 04. Of the 51 passengers and 4 crew members, only 1 minor injury was sustained during the evacuation. During recovery of the aircraft, it was discovered that a failed downlock spring on the nose gear had prevented the landing gear from locking in the down position.[40]


  1. ^ "IATA - Airline and Airport Code Search". Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  2. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration - Airline Certificate Information - Detail View". Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  3. ^ a b "Aircraft" (PDF). SkyWest Airlines. May 2018. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "SkyWest Airlines - General Information". SkyWest Airlines. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  5. ^ "SkyWest". Fortune. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  6. ^ "SkyWest, Inc. Investor Update" (PDF). Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  7. ^ Arnoult, Sandra (April 2005). "SkyWest thrives on the Atkin diet". Air Transport World. Retrieved Feb 10, 2012.
  8. ^ "List of NASDAQ IPO dates". NASDAQ. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  9. ^, March 1, 1987 Western Airlines system timetable & Western Express/SkyWest route map
  10. ^ a b c d e, About, History
  11. ^, April 3, 1988 SkyWest route map
  12. ^ Nii, Jenifer K. (16 August 2005). "SkyWest deal: St. George-based firm buys Delta's ASA". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  14. ^ "FTC transaction granted (Early termination)" (PDF). FTC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  15. ^ "Alaska Airlines Announces Routes, Schedule for New Partner". Alaska Airlines. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  16. ^ "Southwest to end AirTran's codesharing with SkyWest on Sept. 6 | Dallas News". The Dallas Morning News Inc. 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  17. ^ "Media Room" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  18. ^ "SkyWest, Inc. Announces Agreement With American Airlines; Adds Major Code Share Partner | PR Newswire". PR Newswire Association LLC. 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  19. ^ SkyWest, Inc. (September 6, 2017). "SkyWest, Inc. Announces Order of 25 New Aircraft, New Flying Agreements". PRNewswire. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  20. ^
  21. ^ Snyder, Brett (December 20, 2018). "There is a Reason United's Purchase of ExpressJet is So Complicated". Cranky Flier. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  22. ^ ExpressJet Airlines (January 23, 2019). "ManaAir Announces Completion of ExpressJet Airlines Acquisition". Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  23. ^ "SkyWest Airlines - General Information". SkyWest Airlines. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  24. ^ "SkyWest Airlines Fleet Details and History". Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  25. ^ "SkyWest, Inc. Announces Second Quarter 2018 Profit". July 26, 2018. Retrieved 2018-08-02. ...20 new Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft..." "...aircraft will have the ATMOSPHÈRE cabin with a 70-seat, dual-class configuration...
  26. ^ "Planemaker Embraer signs firm order for 9 E175 jets with SkyWest". Reuters. 2019-01-31. Retrieved 2019-09-05.
  27. ^ Stephen Trimble (2 December 2016). "Scope clause freeze pushes E175-E2 back to 2021". FlightGlobal.
  28. ^ "SkyWest firms deal for 100 MRJ90s". FlightGlobal. December 13, 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  29. ^ "SkyWest MRJ90 commitment unchanged". 24 January 2017. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  30. ^ "SkyWest snaps up E175s". Airliner World. October 2019: 14.
  31. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Swearingen SA226-TC Metro II N163SW Kearns, UT". 1987-01-15. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  32. ^ Schevitz, Tanya (2008-01-14). "Jet backs into another at SFO - no injuries". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2008-10-18. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  33. ^ "United Express jet runs off San Antonio runway". WFAA. Associated Press. 2008-09-08. Archived from the original on September 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  34. ^ Hradecky, Simon (2008-09-08). "Incident: Skywest CRJ7 at San Antonio on Sep 7th 2008, ran off runway". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  35. ^ "Skywest Flight Out Of SFO Makes Emergency Landing". KTVU. Bay City News. 2010-05-23. Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  36. ^ "NTSB Identification: WPR10IA256". NTSB. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  37. ^ "Man tries to steal commercial jet, crashes into terminal, kills himself | National News - 960WELI - New Haven's News/Talk :: New Haven, CT". 960WELI. 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  38. ^ "Criminal Occurrence description". 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2018-06-05.
  39. ^ "United SkyWest Jet Makes Emergency Landing At LAX". 11 May 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  40. ^ "Accident: Skywest E175 at San Antonio on Dec 4th 2016, nose gear collapse on landing". Retrieved 2017-01-10.

External linksEdit