Changes are coming later this year to commercial flight service out of the Vernal Regional Airport.
Due to recent changes in their business approach, SkyWest was deemed ineligible by the Department of Transportation, to serve the Vernal and Moab airports. As a result, a federal bid was opened for other airlines to propose service to Vernal.
The community is thankful for SkyWest's service to the area. The Vernal Regional Airport reports that a new carrier has applied to continue operating federally subsidized flights in a similar manner and operation. This transition will occur in the Fall of 2023 with SkyWest continuing to provide service until then. More details about a new applicant carrier will be released as available.
For the past decade, the Uintah Basin has benefitted from a program that federally subsidizes local flights from smaller markets to major flight hubs. Rural communities similar to Vernal have been negatively impacted by a national pilot shortage. In the recent past, for example, SkyWest dropped 29 cities from their rural service. Fortunately, through their efforts, Vernal retained commercial air service.
For the past five years, SkyWest Airlines has serviced our community with flights to Denver. SkyWest operates 12 flights a week resulting in nearly 12,000 passenger departures from Vernal in the last year. The eligibility of SkyWest to continue service was not made by local officials. Local public officials, residents and airport staff all appreciate the SkyWest team and their service to the community.