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Houghton County Rejects SkyWest Airlines’ Proposal to Lower Service

SkyWest Airlines wants to drop service down to a single round trip flight a day at Houghton County Memorial Airport (CMX). In the county commissioners’ special meeting this morning, all five members agreed to deny SkyWest’s proposed plan to slow service in the county until the end of their contract in January 2023. The airline’s proposed plan was determined to not fit the community’s need for multiple flights a day, throughout the year, as CMX sees between 50 and 70 thousand passengers annually.

There’s some out there, some airports that are saying, “Let’s take option three”. But they had an airline that bid in them, they had an equal or equivalent airline that bid on them, and SkyWest came back later and said, “oh no, no, no we don’t want to lose you, we’re gonna keep you.”, okay. With us we don’t have an airline that’s bid on us. And the airlines that are interested, need more time to come up with the resources. They just, they’ve got the same problem, they don’t have pilots, they don’t have twin engine aircraft, capable of giving us the seats that we need. But they’re working on that. – Dennis Hext, Airport Manager, Houghton County Memorial airport

Back in January, SkyWest asked to drop 31 cities from their service. The county received one bid during the last bidding period, but had to reject that service, as it would not completely fill the needed service requirements, based on travel trends gathered by airport staff. The next bidding period for Houghton County’s airport will begin in September.

Houghton County will continue to have two flights a day, serviced by SkyWest, until the end of their contract. The board of commissioners felt that the company honoring their contract, while bids and negotiations continue over the coming months, serves the community’s needs best. Summer is the airport’s busiest time of the year, though they see an uptick in passengers around the holidays, Winter Carnival time, and the beginning of spring.

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