The Proposals for 31 EAS Communities SkyWest is Leaving – AirlineGeeks.com

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The Proposals for 31 EAS Communities SkyWest is Leaving

SkyWest recently requested the termination of 31 Essential Air Service (EAS) contracts, and the process of refilling those contracts has reached the stage airlines submit proposals to the Department of Transportation, and community and industry members can comment on them. The proposals were originally due on April 11i, but the due date was extended to May 11, 2022. Houghton/Hancock, Mich. had its proposal deadlines extended another week.

The subsidies airlines are currently asking for are generally higher than in recent years,  a result of the current price of fuel, the pilot shortage, and other economic factors.

Most of the communities have at least one airline that has proposed service to the communities, although a couple still have not been posted on the public website where they are found.

Here are the 31 communities and what airlines have proposed services to them:

Alamosa, Colo. (ALS)

This community had completed its EAS bidding process as it was already in the midst of the process when SkyWest announced the mass termination.

They will be receiving Denver Air Connection with flights to Denver starting on June 8 and running through June 30, 2024. The subsidy rate will be $5,242,836 per year and will be served using the 30-seat Dornier328Jet or the 50-seat Embraer E145.

Cape Girardeau, Mo. (CGI)

Boutique Air is proposing 28-weekly flights to Nashville using the 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $5,136,776 for the first year and $5,239,511 for the second year.

Contour Air is proposing 12-weekly flights to Nashville using its 30-seat Embraer E135 jet. This contract would be for four years, at a subsidy rate of $5,485,832.88 for year one, $5,869,841.18 for year two $6,280,730.06 for year three, and  $6,720,381.17 for year four.

Southern Airways Express’s proposal is a bit more complicated. They have two options, the first is 24-weekly flights to either St. Louis or Nashville, and the second is 23-weekly flights to St. Louis or Nashville and seven flights to Chicago O’Hare. All flights would be on an 8-seat Cessna 208 except for Chicago which would be on an 8-seat Pilatus PC12. The subsidy would be between $2,954,416 and $4,483,314 per year depending on the route and frequency.

Proposed routes from Cape Girardeau (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Clarksburg, West Virginia (CKB)

Boutique Air is proposing 28-weekly flights to either Baltimore-Washington or Washington Dulles using the 8-seat Pilatus PC12s. The annual proposed subsidy of $5,179,703 for the first year and $5,283,297 for the second year if they chose the Baltimore option, or $5,184,953 for the first year and $5,288,652 for the second year if they choose the Washington Dulles option.

Contour Air is proposing 12-weekly flights to Charlotte using its 30-seat Embraer E135 jet. This contract would be for four years, at a subsidy rate of $5,511,849.46 for year one, $5,897,678.92 for year two $6,310,516.44 for year three, and  $6,752,252.59 for year four.

This next one is weird, the company is “Cool Air” by the Team Tundra Group. There is no information on them online and they only just applied for their operating certificate. Cool stands for “Coalition Operating Organized Logistical Airline System”.

There isn’t even an aircraft type named on their proposal but they did say that they will “Continue EAS as outlined in the current contractual obligation with 50 seat planes”. There is also no subsidy cost on their proposal. The route network is also odd with a routing of Philadelphia-Johnstown, Penn.-Pittsburgh-Clarksburg-Washington Dulles-Philadelphia.

Southern Airways Express’s proposal is again complicated with many different options. They have three options, the first is 24-weekly flights to Pittsburgh, the second is 18-weekly to Washington Dulles and 12-weekly to Pittsburgh, and the third is 18-weekly to both Pittsburgh and Dulles. The Cessna 208 would be used in all cases and the subsidy would be between $2,499,60 and $3,638,267 per year depending on the route and frequency.

Proposed routes from Clarksburg (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Decatur, Illinois (DEC)

This community only has one airline proposing service; Southern Airways Express. They propose two options, 18-weekly to Chicago O’Hare and 24 weekly to St. Louis, or 12-weekly to both Chicago and St. Louis. With subsidy costs between $2,499,60 and $3,638,267 per year depending on the route and frequency and all flights would be on the 8-seat Cessna 208.

Proposed routes from Decatur (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Devils Lake, North Dakota (DVL)

This community currently has no airlines proposing service, and if no airline proposes service SkyWest will be required to remain in this community until a new airline can be found.

Dodge City, Kansas (DDC)

Boutique Air is proposing 21-weekly flights to Denver using the 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $5,884,734 for the first year and $6,002,428 for the second year.

Southern Airways Express is proposing 18 or 24 weekly flights to Denver. Flights will be on either the Pilatus PC12 or King Air 200 both of which have 8-seats. The subsidy will be between $3,636,871 and $4,831,701 per year depending on the route and frequency.

Eau Claire, Wisconsin (EAU)

Boutique Air is proposing 24-weekly flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul using their 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $4,395,741 for the first year and $4,483,655 for the second year.

Southern Airways Express did have three options, with a mix of proposed services to Chicago O’Hare and Minneapolis/St. Paul. However, after having the proposal up for about a week, the airline withdrew its proposal for an unknown reason. So Chicago O’Hare isn’t one of the options anymore as Southern was the only airline to offer a Chicago O’Hare option.

The third airline was a huge shock to me as I have never seen a proposal with an aircraft this large in the lower 48-seats, Sun Country has proposed EAS service using a 186-seat Boeing 737-800. EAS flights onboard a Boeing 737 are uncommon here in the lower-48 states, but in the state of Alaska, they are used between multiple EAS cities along the famous Milk Run route as well as Adak. This will also be the largest aircraft to visit any EAS community regularly, as the EAS communities Alaska Airlines serves are all operated on the -700 version of the aircraft.

Sun Country is proposing a year-round twice-weekly service to Minneapolis/St. Paul with 186 departures annually. They are also proposing seasonal service at less than daily flights to Ft. Myers, Orlando, and Las Vegas. Ft. Meyers will operate from November until April with 110 departures a year, Orlando will operate from May to August with 52 departures a year, and Las Vegas will operate from October to November with 52 departures a year.

They are also proposing a landline bus service to Minneapolis on the days the flight doesn’t occur, and the bus service is not included in the proposal subsidy costs. If selected the annual subsidy will be $6,293,357. 

If selected, Eau Claire to Las Vegas will become the longest EAS flight in the entire country, overtaking the current longest of Anchorage to Adak, Alaska by almost 200-miles.

Proposed routes from Eau Claire (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Fort Dodge, Iowa (FOD)

Boutique Air is proposing 28-weekly flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $4,384,883 for the first year and $4,472,580 for the second year.

Southern Airways Express is proposing a four-year contract here for 24 weekly flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul and flights will be on an 8-seat Cessna 208. The subsidy will be $3,344,300 for the first year, $3,427,908 for the second year, $3,513,605 for the third year, and $3,601,445 for the fourth year.

Proposed routes from Fort Dodge (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Fort Leonard Wood (TBN)

Contour Air is proposing 12-weekly flights to Nashville using its 30-seat Embraer E135 jet. This contract would be for four years, at a subsidy rate of $4,449,693.60 for year one, $4,761,172.15 for year two $5,094,454.20 for year three, and $5,451,066.00 for year four.

Southern Airways Express is proposing two options, either 36 weekly flights to just St. Louis, or 18-weekly to St. Louis and 12-weekly to Nashville. All flights will be on an 8-seat Cessna 208 and the annual subsidy will be between $3,164,419 and $3,994,552 depending on the route and frequency chosen.

Proposed routes from Fort Leonard Wood (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Hattiesburg, Mississippi (PIB)

This is another fun city to look at where each airline is offering a different destination and will come down to where the citizens of the community want to go the most.

Boutique Air is proposing 24-weekly flights to New Orleans using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $4,380,948 for the first year and $3,468,566 for the second year.

Contour Air is proposing 12-weekly flights to Nashville using its 30-seat Embraer E135 jet. This contract would be for four years, at a subsidy rate of $5,502,932.88 for year one, $5,888,138.18 for year two $6,300,307.85 for year three, and $6,741,329.40 for the fourth year.

Southern Airways Express is proposing three options, all of which go to Atlanta. they are proposing either 24, 30, or 36 weekly flights using an 8-seat Cessna 208. The annual subsidy will be between $3,550,749 and $5,196,615 depending frequency that is selected.

Proposed routes from Hattiesburg (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Hays, Kansas (HYS)

This community only had one airline submit a proposal; Boutique Air. The carrier is proposing 21-weekly flights to Denver using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12. The annual subsidy would be $5,630,189 for the first year and $5,742,792 for the second year.

Proposed routes from Hays (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Houghton/Hancock, Michigan (CMX)

This community currently has no airlines proposing service. The deadline has been extended another week, but if no airline proposes service here then SkyWest will be required to remain in this community until a new airline can be found.

Jamestown, North Dakota (JMS)

Boutique Air is proposing 24-weekly flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $5,531,029 for the first year and $5,641,649 for the second year.

Southern Airways Express is proposing 24-weekly flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul using an 8-seat Cessna 208. The subsidy will be $4,574,029 for the first year, $4,688,380 for the second year, $4,805,589 for the third year, and $4,925,729 for the fourth year.

Proposed routes from Jamestown, N.D. (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Johnstown, Pennsylvania (JST)

Boutique Air is proposing 28-weekly flights to either Baltimore-Washington or Washington Dulles using the 8-seat Pilatus PC12s. The annual proposed subsidy of $5,140,521 for the first year and $5,243,331 for the second year if they chose the Baltimore option, or $5,145,424 for the first year and $5,248,332 for the second year if they choose the Washington Dulles option.

Contour Air is proposing 12-weekly flights to Charlotte using its 30-seat Embraer E135 jet. This contract would be for four years, at a subsidy rate of $5,580,903.60 for year one, $5,971,566.85 for year two $6,389,576.53 for year three, and $6,836,846.89 for the fourth year.

The unknown carrier “Cool Air” is also proposing service to this community. There isn’t even an aircraft type named on their proposal but they did say that they will “Continue EAS as outlined in the current contractual obligation with 50 seat planes”. There is also no subsidy cost on their proposal. The route network is also odd with a routing of Philadelphia-Johnstown, Penn.-Pittsburgh-Clarksburg-Washington Dulles-Philadelphia.

Southern Airways Express’s proposal is again complicated with many different options. They have three options, the first is 12-weekly flights to both Pittsburgh and Washington Dulles, the second is 18-weekly to Washington Dulles and 12-weekly to Pittsburgh, and the third is 18-weekly to both Pittsburgh and Dulles. The 8-seat Cessna 208 would be used in all cases and the subsidy would be between $2,739,624 and $3,621,788 per year depending on the route and frequency.

Proposed routes from Johnstown (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Joplin, Missouri (JLN)

This community only has one airline proposing service; Southern Airways Express. They propose two options, 12-weekly to Dallas Ft. Worth and 18 weekly to St. Louis, or 24-weekly to Dallas Ft. Worth and 18-weekly to St. Louis. With subsidy costs between $4,598,644 and $5,143,008 per year depending on the frequency chosen and all flights would be on the 8-seat Cessna 208.

Proposed routes from Joplin (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Kearney, Nebraska (EAR)

Boutique Air is proposing 21-weekly flights to Denver using the 8-seat Pilatus PC12s. The annual proposed subsidy of $7,809,517 for the first year and $7,965,707 for the second year.

Denver Air Connection is proposing 2-weekly flights to Denver using either the 30-seat Dornier328Jet or the 50-seat Embraer E145. The subsidy rate would be $7,475,114 per year.

This next proposal is one of my favorite in the running and is from Ravn Alaska, which is a subsidiary of new airline Northern Pacific Airways. They are proposing 14-weekly flights to Denver using their 50-seat Dash-8~300. The midday flight would be nonstop, to Denver but the morning kickoff flight would have a stop in North Platte on its way to Denver. The subsidy rate would be $3,957,499 per year, which is less than half the price of both Denver Air Connection and Boutique Air.

Proposed routes from Kearney (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Lewisburg, West Virginia (LWB)

Boutique Air is proposing 30-weekly flights to either Baltimore-Washington or Washington Dulles using the 8-seat Pilatus PC12s. The annual proposed subsidy of $5,541,881 for the first year and $5,652,718 for the second year if they chose the Baltimore option, or $5,544,086 for the first year and $5,654,967 for the second year if they choose the Washington Dulles option.

Contour Air is proposing 12-weekly flights to Charlotte using its 30-seat Embraer E135 jet. This contract would be for four years, at a subsidy rate of $5,971,352.88 for year one, $6,389,347.58 for year two $6,836,601.91 for year three, and $7,315,164.05 for the fourth year.

The unknown carrier “Cool Air” is proposing service to this community as well. There isn’t even an aircraft type named on their proposal but they did say that they will “Continue EAS as outlined in the current contractual obligation with 50 seat planes”. There is also no subsidy cost on their proposal. The route network is also odd with a routing of Philadelphia-Washington Dulles-Shenandoah-Lewisburg-Philadelphia.

Southern Airways Express is proposing three options, all of which go to Washington Dulles. they are proposing either 24, 30, or 36 weekly flights using the 8-seat Cessna 208. The annual subsidy will be between $3,029,059 and $4,213,593 depending frequency that is selected.

Proposed routes from Lewisburg (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Liberal, Kansas (LBL)

This community currently has no airlines proposing service. If no airline proposes service here then SkyWest will be required to remain in this community until a new airline can be found.

Mason City, Iowa (MCW)

Boutique Air is proposing 24-weekly flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $4,378,082 for the first year and $4,465,643 for the second year.

Southern Airways Express is proposing 17-weekly flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul and seven-weekly flights to Chicago O’Hare using an 8-seat Cessna 208. The subsidy will be $3,378,416 for the first year, $3,462,876 for the second year, $3,549,448 for the third year, and $3,638,184 for the fourth year.

Proposed routes from Mason City(Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Meridian, Mississippi (MEI)

Boutique Air is proposing 30-weekly flights to New Orleans using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $5,210,711 for the first year and $5,314,925 for the second year.

Southern Airways Express is proposing three options, all of which go to Atlanta. they are proposing either 24, 30, or 36 weekly flights using the 8-seat Cessna 208. The annual subsidy will be between $3,214,568 and $4,459,386 depending frequency that is selected.

Proposed routes from Meridian (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Muskegon, Michigan (MKG)

This community only had one airline submi8-seat a proposal; Southern Airways Express. They are proposing either 30 or 36 weekly flights to Chicago O’Hare onboard an 8-seat Cessna 208. The annual subsidy will be between $3,487,860 and $4,220,226 depending on the frequency chosen.

Proposed routes from Muskegon (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

North Platte, Nebraska (LBF)

Boutique Air is proposing 21-weekly flights to Denver using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $5,752,595 for the first year and $5,867,646 for the second year.

Ravn Alaska subsidiary under Northern Pacific Airways will also be bidding for this community. They are proposing 14-weekly flights to Denver using the 50-seat Dash-8~300. The midday flight to Denver will be nonstop, and either the morning kickoff or the late-night arrival will first go through the fellow Nebraskan city, Kearney.

Southern Airways Express is proposing 24-weekly flights to Denver using the 8-seat Cessna 208. The subsidy will be $3,499,318 for the first year, $3,586,801 for the second year, $3,676,471 for the third year, and $3,768,383 for the fourth year.

Proposed routes from North Platte (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Ogdensburg, New York (OGS)

This community has already completed its EAS bidding process as it was one of the first two cities that announced termination back in January, happening almost two months before the remaining 29 communities.

They will be receiving Contour Air with flights to Philadelphia starting on July 1, 2022, until June 30, 2024. The city will be served using the 30-seat Embraer E135.

Paducah, Kentucky (PAH)

Boutique Air is proposing 30-weekly flights to Nashville using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $5,537,875 for the first year and $5,648,632 for the second year.

Contour Air is proposing 12-weekly flights to Charlotte using its 30-seat Embraer E135 jet. This contract would be for four years, at a subsidy rate of $5,554,653.60 for year one, $5,943,479.35 for year two $6,359,522.91 for year three, and $6,804,689.51 for the fourth year.

Southern Airways Express is proposing two different options for this community. the first one is 36-weekly flights to either St. Louis or Nashville, and the second is 24 weekly flights to St. Louis and 12-weekly flights to either Nashville or Chicago O’Hare. Flights to St. Louis and Nashville would be on the 8-seat Cessna 208, and Chicago flights would be on the 8-seat Pilatus PC12. The subsidy cost would be between $3,816,904 and $5,152,930 per year depending on the route and frequency chosen.

Proposed routes from Paducah (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Plattsburgh, New York (PBG)

This community has also completed its EAS process, Contour air was selected for flights to Philadelphia onboard their 30-seat Embraer E135s. This community was one of the first two that ended the process when SkyWest announced its intention to terminate back in January of 2022 along, with fellow upstate New York community of Ogdensburg.

Pueblo, Colorado (PUB)

Boutique Air is proposing 28-weekly flights to Denver using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $5,060,722 for the first year and $5,161,937 for the second year.

Southern Airways Express is proposing 24 or 30-weekly flights to Denver using either the King air 200 or Cessna 208 both of which have 8-seats. The subsidy will be between $2,739,426 and $3,326,616 depending on the frequency and aircraft chosen to fly the route.

Proposed routes from Pueblo(Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Salina, Kansas (SLN)

This community only has one applicant; Denver Air Connection. They are proposing 12-weekly flights with two options; just Denver, or Chicago O’Hare and Denver with six flights to each. The annual subsidy would be $8,457,935 if they choose only Denver, and $9,475,006 if they choose the Denver and Chicago O’hare option.

Proposed routes from Salina (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Scottsbluff, Nebraska (BFF)

Boutique Air is proposing 28-weekly flights to Denver using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $5,162,315 for the first year and $5,265,561 for the second year.

Southern Airways Express is proposing 24, 30, or 36-weekly flights to Denver using their 8-seat Cessna 208. The subsidy will be between $2,995,243 and $4,129,134 depending on the frequency chosen.

Proposed routes from Scottsbluff (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Shenandoah, Virginia (SHD)

Boutique Air is proposing 28-weekly flights to either Baltimore-Washington or Washington Dulles using the 8-seat Pilatus PC12s. The annual proposed subsidy of $5,176,218 for the first year and $5,279,742 for the second year if they chose the Baltimore option, or $5,181,279 for the first year and $5,284,904 for the second year if they choose the Washington Dulles option.

Contour Air is proposing 12-weekly flights to Charlotte using its 30-seat Embraer E135 jet. This contract would be for four years, at a subsidy rate of $5,415,032.88 for year one, $5,794,085.18 for year two $6,199,671.14 for year three, and $6,633,648.12 for the fourth year.

The unknown carrier “Cool Air” is proposing service to this community as well. There isn’t even an aircraft type named on their proposal but they did say that they will “Continue EAS as outlined in the current contractual obligation with 50 seat planes”. There is also no subsidy cost on their proposal. The route network is also odd with a routing of Philadelphia-Washington Dulles-Shenandoah-Lewisburg-Philadelphia.

Southern Airways Express’s proposal is again complicated with many different options. They have three options, the first is 23-weekly flights to Washington Dulles and seven to Pittsburgh, the second is 24-weekly to Washington Dulles and 12-weekly to Pittsburgh, and the third is 24-weekly flights to only Washington Dulles. The 8-seat Cessna 208 would be used in all cases and the subsidy would be between $2,634,903 and $3,740,699 per year depending on the route and frequency.

Proposed routes from Shenandoah (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Sioux City, Iowa (SUX)

Boutique Air is proposing 28-weekly flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $5,183,034 for the first year and $5,286,694 for the second year.

Proposed routes from Sioux City (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Victoria, Texas (VCT)

Boutique Air is proposing one option for this community, 25-weekly flights to Houston-Bush and three-weekly flights to Dallas Ft. Worth using an 8-seat Pilatus PC12 with an annual proposed subsidy of $5,135,321 for the first year and $5,238,027 for the second year.

Southern Airways Express is proposing 18-weekly flights to Dallas Ft. Worth using its 8-seat Cessna 208. the subsidy will be $2,723,267 for the first year, $2,791,349 for the second year, $2,861,133 for the third year, and $3,932,661 for the fourth year.

Proposed routes from Victoria (Photo: GreatCircleMapper)

Conclusion

That concludes all of the proposals airlines have submitted for the 31 communities SkyWest is requesting to terminate. It doesn’t include any other decisions of the communities in regards to these proposals and is simply a list of what routes airlines are proposing to serve each community.

While these are the options the communities have with new carriers, another option is to keep SkyWest as their carrier. SkyWest has said that they are willing to stay and work with the communities if they are allowed to reduce flights down to only seven-weekly flights as they work through the pilot shortage. Some communities have already talked about taking that option as they feel once daily on SkyWest is better than any option the proposals have given them.

United Airlines CRJ200 operated by SkyWest at Muskegon-County Airport (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

SkyWest is also required to stay in the communities that have no airline proposals at the currently agreed and contracted upon service unless the community submits a document wishing them to change it.

The general public can now make comments regarding the proposals and email them to the DOT. If you would like to comment on a particular city contact your respective community officials as they have the contact information for the DOT. All public comments must be submitted to the DOT no later than June 10, 2022.

  • Joe has always been interested in planes, for as long as he can remember. He grew up in Central New York during the early 2000s when US Airways Express turboprops ruled the skies. Being from a non-aviation family made it harder for him to be around planes and would only spend about three hours a month at the airport. He was so excited when he could drive by himself and the first thing he did with the license was get ice cream and go plane spotting for the entire day. When he has the time (and money) he likes to take spotting trips to any location worth a visit. He’s currently enrolled at Western Michigan University earning a degree in Aviation Management and Operations.

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