Will Skywest do any Better than ExpressJet?

By | November 5, 2009
SkyWest CRJ
Image by caribb via Flickr

Skywest Airlines is a large regional airline that operates under the banner of United and Delta, and until recently, Midwest Airlines. With Republic taking over their flying, as they now own Midwest, Skywest has extra planes.

Like ExpressJet a few years ago, Skywest is experimenting with flying under its own brand. But not to the same degree. Skywest has contracted with AirTran. AirTran will handle the sales and get a share of the profit, and Skywest will assume the risk.

Their planes will fly from Milwaukee to Akron/Canton(effective Jan. 5th), Des Moines (Feb. 11th), Indianapolis (Jan. 5th), Omaha (Feb. 11th), Pittsburgh (Dec. 4th), and St Louis (Dec. 4th). It will support AirTran’s focus on Milwaukee, one they tried to increase with their offer for Midwest, which was defeated, only to have Midwest fall into bankruptcy.

This is rather different than ExpressJet, where they handled all sales for their branded service. Getting into AirTran’s already-established distribution system will get them exposure, and a leg up over ExpressJet’s approach. We’re not sure that these city pairs have the traffic to sustain the service as profitably as they might wish, but hopefully it will work.