This evening, the City of Pierre was notified by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (USDOT) that it has selected SkyWest to provide Essential Air Service (EAS) to the Capital City.
Pierre Mayor Steve Harding says that this is wonderful news!
“Just last week, the City Commission unanimously voted to recommend SkyWest as Pierre’s next air service provider,” said Harding. “I’m just giddy with excitement for our community and for central South Dakota.”
SkyWest will provide six weekly direct round-trip flights between Pierre and Denver, and six weekly round-trip flights to Denver that will be shared with Watertown. The average one-way ticket price will be about $90, and SkyWest will fly as UnitedExpress.
In its proposal for the EAS contract, SkyWest indicated it expects to return commercial air service to Pierre sometime in April.
“I can’t thank our federal partners enough for working so quickly to resolve our local air service concerns. They have been just fantastic,” said Mike Isaacs, Pierre Airport Manager.
Commercial air service in Pierre was abruptly halted last month after California Pacific Air discontinued service and announced it would not fulfill its federal EAS contract.
The USDOT leads the EAS contracting process by calling for proposals from airlines interested in serving the Pierre market and ultimately choosing the winning proposal. The USDOT gives EAS communities, like Pierre, the opportunity to review the proposals and make a recommendation.