The U.S. Department of Transportation selects SkyWest Airlines, Inc., branded as United Express, to provide Essential Air Service (EAS) at Decatur, Illinois, for a three-year term from February 1, 2022, through January 31, 2025.
SkyWest will provide Decatur with 12 nonstop round trips per week from Decatur Airport (DEC) to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), using 50-passenger Bombardier or Canadair CRJ-200 aircraft. SkyWest’s service will be branded as United Express, enabling Decatur passengers’ access to United Airlines’ extensive domestic and international network. ORD is a large-hub airport and is one of United’s largest connecting hubs, which will provide Decatur passengers excellent access to the national air transportation system.
In 2019, SkyWest was selected to provide EAS at Decatur for a two-year contract term. When the expiration of the current contract approached, the Department issued an order, requesting proposals from air carriers interested in providing EAS for a new contract term at the community. In response to that Order, Multi-Aero, Inc. d/b/a Air Choice One (Air Choice One) and SkyWest submitted proposals. When balancing the details of each proposal, relative subsidy requirements, and community feedback, the Department believes SkyWest’s selection will best meet the community’s EAS.
Ms. Stacey Young, President of the Decatur Park District, which owns and operates the Decatur Airport, stated: “After thorough review of airline submissions, the Decatur Park Board of Commissioners is recommending SkyWest Airlines as their selection for providing Essential Air Service beginning February 2022. In addition to the carrier recommendation, the Board also supports a three-year contract.”
SkyWest’s proposal meets the air carrier-selection criteria the Department is required to consider, and the Department finds its service and subsidy levels reasonable. SkyWest has been a reliable partner in the EAS program for over 20 years and during that time it has earned a solid reputation for providing reliable EAS to the communities it serves.