Skywest submitted a bid for HIbbing on 2/17/2022, suggesting they are not
planning a wholesale drawdown of their EAS flying.https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... 15796-0088
Something which initially raised an eyebrow was this statement:All flights are subject to gate availability and don’t have up line scheduling restrictions.
That's because typically the Skywest proposals say this:All flights are subject to gate availability and up line scheduling restrictions.
Generally, though I've seen it played loosely over the years, airlines are to be upfront in their EAS bids if they flights will have an intermediate stop or originate upline. So seeing this one say they don't
have any upline restrictions suggests they changed this deliberately in preparation for flying more one-stop routings such as INL-HIB-MSP rather than INL-MSP and HIB-MSP. However...looking back at older submissions I do see that the "don't have upline scheduling restrictions" has been used by Skywest over the years in some proposals. That includes the Bemidji and Aberdeen proposal from 2019 below. https://www.regulations.gov/document/DO ... -0137-0043
So apparently it is *not* some new wrinkle in their EAS bids.
My own speculation on Skywest EAS flying is this:
--Though only tiny fraction of their company, it's been successful profit generator for dozens of undesirable surplus RJ's.
--The lack of surplus pilots
puts the squeeze on Skywest but they intend to continue the program as best they can in hopes of the situation improving.
Skywest's EAS abandonment of Plattsburgh and Ogdensburg are likely due to those markets being all-Dulles where Skywest does not have a crew base or do much UA* flying. It makes more sense to consolidate limited resources (pilots) and the less deadheading and outstation overnights the better, something those orphan IAD markets almost certainly needed. The remaining Dulles EAS markets also have flights to O'Hare so it's easier to "fund" those IAD flights with ORD-based crews.
It's certainly possible Skywest is planning to scale back EAS and not re-bid some of the smaller or far-flung EAS markets, but HIB is kind of a medium-ish one and they are choosing not to pass on the bid. It will be interesting to see if that holds true or if they will let some go when the time comes.