SkyWest to launch new route from St. George with help from city, county

Photo courtesy of SkyWest Airlines via Twitter, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Air travelers will have another choice of destinations when leaving the St. George Regional Airport thanks to SkyWest Airlines, along with some help from Washington County and the city of St. George.

The Washington County Commission approved an agreement Tuesday that will help subsidize the launch of a new round-trip SkyWest Airlines flight from St. George to Los Angeles, California.

County commissioners approved $225,000 for startup costs for the nonstop flight, which will be marketed as United Express.

The addition of Los Angeles to the three existing routes to Salt Lake City, Denver and Phoenix will point travelers in every direction from St. George, SkyWest Managing Director of Market Development Greg Atkin said.

“It also gives you connecting access to, really, anything in the world and the country,” he said.

The county’s part of the subsidy will come from available tourism and recreation taxes and money left over from a similar $100,000 subsidy arrangement for the startup of a Phoenix flight in November 2016.

Read more: SkyWest flies inaugural American Airlines flight from St. George to Phoenix

St. George City will provide the other $225,000 for the new service – as it did for the St. George-to-Phoenix flight – and waive up to $50,000 in landing and other fees for the new route.

The funding is a revenue guarantee for the first year of the Los Angeles flights. SkyWest agreed to fly at least one nonstop roundtrip flight every day between Los Angeles and St. George in a jet airplane that holds at least 50 people.

The new flights are expected to begin in September. While the exact schedule has not been set, Atkin said, the flight will likely leave St. George in the morning and return in the evening. The flights will be branded and marketed as United Express.

The agreement will also fund losses SkyWest might incur by maintaining two flights a day to Denver during January and February, a time during which the airline has historically only had one daily flight.

The agreement between the city, county and airline runs for 18 months or until all subsidy funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

St. George-based SkyWest Airlines Inc. was founded in 1972 and has become the world’s largest regional airline.

Email: japplegate@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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21 Comments

  • Caveat_Emptor June 8, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    This is great news, and a major improvement for local travelers.
    We have appreciated the recent addition of the Phoenix flights, thanks to American Airlines.
    Let’s see if there is sustaining demand for the flight. It gives us better options than the trek down to Las Vegas……..

  • Not_So_Much June 8, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Why? If you let them create a tax, they will spend it.

  • DB June 8, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I hope it works out this time, as my understanding was that the previous try carried mostly company employees and not enough revenue customers. SkyWest flies on behalf of the major airlines and I don’t know which one we are talking about here. What the airlines DO know is how many passengers originate in St George and connect to, say, Japan or China. This flight isn’t going to be filled with families going to Disneyland.

    • Hunter June 9, 2017 at 9:56 am

      It will be interesting to see what happens. Previous flights were on a 30 pax aircraft and they couldn’t make it work. One key difference is that UA’s LAX hub is more diversified today than it was 10+ years ago. Previously the hub was focussed on Asia Pacific traffic and local CA markets; today their flights include a lot more trans-con, Europe and additional markets, so maybe the connection feeds will make this thing work. There’s also a rather intangible difference…people tend to avoid turbo-props, so using a jet in the market may also make a difference.

      • Bender June 9, 2017 at 3:46 pm

        > people tend to avoid turbo-props

        I’ll be your huckleberry. Bring back them sweet turbo props!

        • Hunter June 10, 2017 at 9:24 am

          They do a great job of lulling me to sleep before we’ve even left the ground! Nothing better than a Q400 ride.

      • DB June 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm

        UA is stronger at SFO than LAX, though they seem to have plans to strengthen at LAX. My bet was on SFO for this. As for transcon, I’d choose the SGU-DEN or PHX flights, but as always, price seems to be king anyway. Yes, people have an aversion to ‘prop’ planes versus jets. Yea, they’re turboprops, but the average passenger wouldn’t know the difference between that and a DC3. They’re just as safe and the short hop on the turboprop to LAX might add only five minutes or ten to your trip, compared to the jet.

        • Bender June 10, 2017 at 12:43 am

          I can’t seem to make my overseas flights work with the sgu-den connection times. It’s just easier to drive to LAS even though I dread the drive home on the return leg.

        • Hunter June 10, 2017 at 9:26 am

          I don’t think it’s rational…just pointing out one thing that actually has an effect on things. As for SFO vs. LAX, my guess is SkyWest can get better utilization out of the aircraft with their LAX operation vs. SFO. Just a hunch as SGU is usually a risk market for them vs. a contract market.

  • Bender June 8, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Cranking up the LA non-revenue Skywest employee get-away shuttle again!

    • DB June 9, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      You may be right, but remember that if fifty revenue passengers board a fifty passenger jet, NO company employees board, though there might be exceptions for official travel and such. That didn’t seem to be happening with the old SGU-LAX flight.

      • Hunter June 10, 2017 at 9:28 am

        If I remember correctly, the previous LAX flight averaged 7 revenue pax per flight. I could be wrong, but for some reason that number is ringing a bell. That left 23 open seats for COBUS and NRSA pax.

  • mmsandie June 8, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    I moved here 22 yrs ago, and they had flights to Los angeles. Then they cancelled them.. So what’s new.. The company tries to control who can cak e in and out. I thought when they built the new airport, there would be other airlines coming here but guess not

  • wilbur June 8, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    .

    Excellent !!!

    A most useful connection indeed, so long as it is not stuffed with Sky Worst employees getting out of Dodge for the weekend.

  • comments June 8, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Yep, sounds like corporate welfare dolled out by the gov’t–the very worst kind of socialism. Why not just name it “ripoff airlines”.

  • knobe June 8, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    They had the LAX flight when I first came here but personally ,
    I would have preferred SFO .

    When they stopped the west coast flight , I tried SGU through SLC but that sucks .
    I then opted for Vegas direct to SFO . . . saves major bucks especially with the
    shuttle running there every few hours & free long term parking at the lot by K Mart .

  • NS June 8, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    sounds like Wilbur didn’t get hired lol

  • Thecadean June 9, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Great to see St George reconnecting with Southern California. However they really should have considered the old route of John Wayne Orange County airport

    • Hunter June 9, 2017 at 9:53 am

      The flight is intended to feed connecting traffic to a hub…going into SNA wouldn’t have accomplished that.

  • ladybugavenger June 11, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Too many acronyms in these comments lol

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