SkyWest to terminate services at 4 Kansas airports
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - SkyWest Airlines recently announced it is canceling services to 29 airports across the U.S., including four in Kansas: Hays, Dodge City, Salina and Liberal. Eyewitness News spoke with airport personal, the Hays city manager and a business owner about how the airline’s cancelation impacts them.
Hays City Manager Toby Dougherty said SkyWest has given a 90-day notice to the U.S. Department of Transportation with plans to terminate services at four Kansas airports due to a shortage of pilots.
“For the convenience of the traveling public in the Hays area as well as the business community, it’s extremely important from an economic perspective to have a viable commercial air service out of Hays,” Dougherty said.
He said the U.S. Department of Transpiration has ordered SkyWest to continue services until a replacement air carrier can be found. Dodge City Regional Airport is also impacted.
“It’s extremely important for all of us to have EAS service. I mean, it connects us to the outside world,” said Dodge City Regional Airport Manager Keli Endow. “Just because we are a smaller town doesn’t mean we don’t deserve the big-town amenities.”
In Hays, Rans Aircraft Owner Randy Schlitter said SkyWest services have been a boost to his business.
“Our clients come from all over the world, and so, it is kind of convenient for them to be able to come in SkyWest and for the guys that are picking up airplanes and flying the to destinations,” he said. “Its excellent because they have no obligation to drop of a rental car.”
Schlitter said if air service was halted, it would be more difficult to get clients to Hays. He said he hopes another air carrier is found soon. Eyewitness News reached out to SkyWest for further comment, but as of Thursday evening, haven’t heard back.
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