A new chapter is being written in the skies over Salina as SkyWest Airlines prepares to end service to its’ United hubs in Denver and Chicago. Tim Rogers Executive Director of the Salina Airport Authority tells KSAL News that finding an alternative carrier is already in motion.
SkyWest Airlines notified the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) that the airline intends to terminate United Express service at Salina, KS and twenty-eight other United Express communities. The USDOT issued a Hold-In Order prohibiting SkyWest from terminating service at the Salina Regional Airport until a replacement airline is selected and begins operations.
During the Hold-In period SkyWest is expected to maintain the current daily schedule for regional jet service to Denver and Chicago.
Rogers added that finding enough qualified pilots to fly the routes remains a vexing part of the puzzle for airlines in general. Some pilots may be coaxed from their early retirement nest to help – while others will emerge from training programs like Kansas State.
Salina will work with the USDOT to have a replacement airline selected by Summer 2022. A suspension of scheduled air service at Salina is not expected to occur.