Carrier Negotiations Ongoing in Bid To Retain Skywest

May 4, 2022

May 4—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Johnstown-Cambria County Airport officials were continuing contract negotiations Tuesday to keep its current carrier, SkyWest, on board through 2023.

Enplanement committee members said it's still too soon to discuss the matter — "but our goal is to work with SkyWest to address their staffing and pilot issues so they can continue to provide reliable service to the Johnstown area," Manager Cory Cree said after the meeting adjourned.

The committee provides reports to the full authority during monthly airport authority meetings and the next is scheduled for Wednesday.

SkyWest provides nonstop service to Chicago and Dulles, Virginia, under the United banner, and has carried 20,000 passengers to and from Johnstown during the past 12 months — the highest passenger count since 2005.

But it's been a whirlwind six weeks for the airport.

SkyWest abruptly notified Johnstown and 28 other airports they planned to drop out of the funding-supported Essential Air Service program this summer.

Last week, while Johnstown airport officials and the U.S. Department of Transportation were awaiting new proposals for another carrier to step in, SkyWest signaled a change of course.

Following an executive session Tuesday, authority members asked Cree to request additional information about SkyWest's proposal to enable them to make a recommendation to the full authority.

Cree said the authority also has to consult with the U.S. Department of Transportation — the final decision-maker — about its options.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, meanwhile, has set a May 11 deadline to collect proposals from outside carriers seeking to serve the Johnstown airport and, separately, 28 others across the nation.

While local airports are able to recommend a preferred carrier to serve them, federal officials make the final call.

Calls to the U.S. Department of Transportation for additional details on the status of the proposal collection process weren't returned for comment Tuesday.

A spokeswoman noted only that the proposal deadline remains May 11.


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