MARCH 9, 2022
CHANGES ARE COMING TO AIR SERVICE AT MERIDIAN REGIONAL AIRPORT
Due to the nation-wide pilot shortage, SkyWest Airlines has announced its desire to terminate its service at 29 regional airports nationwide, including Meridian. SkyWest said today it will file a public notice with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) tomorrow announcing its intention to end service to those 29 airports once replacement carriers are found.
“We’re already working on alternatives,” said Meridian Regional Airport President Tom Williams. “Fortunately, we’ve got the best air service consultant in the country working with us and he had alerted us the pilot shortage could trigger something like this.”
“We expect no changes in the next 90 days, although efforts will be underway to identify a replacement carrier that best meets Meridian’s passenger needs including our military passengers. The transition process could take until the end of the year and SkyWest has committed to do their best to serve us until that transition can smoothly occur.”
The 29 airports affected are all Essential Air Service (EAS) airports. The federal government’s EAS program provides subsidies to airlines that operate air service into smaller airports that are vital to economic strength in their communities. All 29 of the airports are served by United Airlines, with SkyWest as the carrier.