SkyWest approved for regional airport service
The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved a contract with SkyWest Airlines, a division of United Airlines, to provide service at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport. The switch in carriers was announced in September and needed government approval.
The new carrier will replace Mesaba, an affiliate of Delta Airlines, and will offer two daily direct flights to and from Chicago's O'Hare Airport instead of the current schedule that provides air travel to Minneapolis. The change is expected to take place sometime in early 2010.
"The Chippewa Valley will retain Delta service right up until SkyWest takes over. Delta cannot leave until SkyWest begins service," said Chippewa Valley Regional Airport Manager Charity Speich.
As part of the agreement, passengers will have the ability to book seamless travel from Eau Claire to anywhere United or any of its affiliate airlines fly. United Airlines operates 3,300 flights per day with hubs in Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Washington D.C. and San Francisco.
The SkyWest flights will operate with a 50-passenger Bombardier twin-jet engine compared to the Mesaba planes that are a 34-seat Saab turboprop.
The Department of Transportation has required that Delta re-accommodate or refund any tickets that have been purchased for travel once SkyWest assumes local service. TBL