Celebrating SkyWest People: Appreciation Week 2016

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

Through food, games, fun and more food, the SkyWest team of over 11,500 employees celebrated each other and their phenomenal successes from the past year as they’ve worked together to operate more than 1,800 flights every day.

The past week was spent celebrating the people that make SkyWest great. Through continued hard work, SkyWest has met many of their 2016 goals. An illustration of SkyWest teamwork is the significant improvements to the overall operational performance, bringing a record amount of Performance Reward payouts for the first half of this year. And not only do the SkyWest people work hard, but they take care of each other.

Standout service moments happened across the system and employees recognized their teammates who go above and beyond! To see some of the fun, check out some of the 2016 Appreciation Week photos below.


Remembering 9/11

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

Sunday, Sept. 11 will mark 15 years since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 claimed nearly 3,000 lives. Few events are as indelibly inked upon our minds as the events of 9/11.  No matter where you were or what you were doing on that fateful day, chances are you remember it vividly.  There is no doubt that the events of 9/11 changed our nation and our industry.

This week, we remember and honor those who lost their lives at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, those on board American Flight 11, American Flight 77, United Flight 93 and United Flight 175, as well as the first responders and the many heroes whose first thoughts were not of themselves, but of others.  We are grateful for all them and for all who continue to work to preserve our freedoms. Following are just a few ways you can honor and pay tribute this week:

  1. FLY your flag at half-staff for the 2,996 innocent human beings and 11 unborn babies who lost their lives, as well as the service members who died or were wounded in Operation Enduring Freedom.
  2. TAP into the love of country that flows through your veins. Give blood to the Red Cross to show solidarity with the more than 6,000 injured on that day.
  3. SHARE your memories of the attacks with loved ones and friends.
  4. POST an appropriate picture or remembrance on social media to show your solidarity with the many innocent victims.
  5. PARTICIPATE in a local 9/11 Stair Climb to show gratitude and understanding for the grueling conditions our first responders perform under in the line of duty.
  6. VISIT a local 9/11 memorial in your area, or one of the year-round memorials in Manhattan, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
  7. VOLUNTEER through one of the many non-profit organizations dedicated to preserving September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
  8. DONATE to a charity that supports the families of 9/11 victims, museums, and other beneficial programs.1200x630_remembering_9-11_facebook

SkyWest Scholarship Program Helps 32 Students Achieve Academic Goals

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

As the new school year begins, 32 SkyWest Airlines employees and family members will pursue their higher education aspirations with a little help from the SkyWest Scholarship Program. This year SkyWest awarded 32 scholarships totaling $40,000 in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, helping our SkyWest people and their families pursue their educational aspirations.

Scholarship Recipient Tara Pendleton

Scholarship Recipient Tara Pendleton

This year’s scholarship recipients come from a variety backgrounds and represent a wide range of academic ambitions. One of our Presidential Scholarship recipient – Jessica Harris – plans to pursue a dual degree in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Math with a minor in Economics. Upon graduation she hopes to focus on improving our nation’s security by contributing to the field of satellite surveillance and research. Another Presidential Scholarship recipient – Tara Pendleton – plans to use her scholarship funds to study Engineering while maintaining a focus on international development and service. From college freshmen to graduate level studies, each of the recipients has shown their ability to excel and SkyWest is proud to fuel our next generation and help them achieve their dreams.

Recipients were selected by the SkyWest Scholarship Committee comprised of employee representatives, who assessed each applicant individually based on a number of criteria, including GPA, career interest, extra-curricular activities, future goals, unique challenges and a letter of recommendation. Applicants to the program are each high achievers, proving that SkyWest is home to some of the best and brightest in the industry!

BreakingNews_Scholarships_2016The SkyWest Scholarship Program was introduced in 2003 and has raised more than $400,000 to assist the higher education of more than 500 members of the SkyWest team and their eligible family members. These funds are raised by donations from fellow employees in conjunction with SkyWest’s annual Mini Indy.

Congratulations and best of luck to all 32 of the 2016 SkyWest Scholarship recipients!

100 Years of National Parks

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

The National Park Service turns 100 this month, marking a century since the agency was first created. With 209 cities currently served, SkyWest conveniently connects travelers to National Parks across the U.S. To celebrate 100 years of National Parks, we’ve put together a list of Parks that are only a SkyWest operated flight away! The National Parks Service will offer free entry to each of the National Parks starting August 25 through August 28, so get out, find your Park and start exploring!

Grand Teton National ParkTetons

Grand Teton National Park is home to over 200 miles of trails and is a popular destination for mountaineering, fishing and back-country hiking. It has been described as tranquil with breathtaking views of a signature group of three mountain peaks that are the Tetons.

To get here:

Fly into Cody, Wyoming from Salt Lake City on Delta or on United from Denver or Chicago and drive two and a half hours to reach the entrance.
Fly into Jackson Hole, Wyoming from Salt Lake City on Delta or from Denver on United. The park’s main gate is only 4 miles away.


Theodore Roosevelt National ParkA030,_Theodore_Roosevelt_National_Park,_North_Dakota,_USA,_2001

This park is in honor of our 26 President, Theodore Roosevelt who originally came to this area in the North Dakota badlands to hunt bison. It was during this trip he fell in love with the rugged lifestyle and “perfect freedom” of the West. This National Park features 100 miles of foot and horse trails, wildlife viewing, back-country hiking and camping. Many also come to view the Northern Lights.

To get here:

Fly from Denver to Jamestown, North Dakota on United and drive just over three hours to reach Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Fly to Bismarck, North Dakota from Denver on United or from Minneapolis on Delta and drive two hours west.


Mammoth Cave National ParkMammoth Cave

This National Park marks the longest known cave system in the world – home to more than 390 miles of limestone passageways with vast chambers and complex labyrinths. Visitors are able to follow rangers as they explore a variety caves or enjoy the river nearby.

To get here:

Fly to Paducah, Kentucky from Chicago on United and drive two and a half hours east to reach Mammoth Cave.


Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce is known for its crimson-colored, spire-shaped rock formations called hoodoos, intermixed with pine trees and other greenery. Most visitors opt to take a drive through the park which offers 13 scenic viewpoints and a variety of sights. Other activity options include hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and stargazing. For a different view, visitors can explore Bryce during colder months and snowshoe among the snow-draped hoodoos.

To get here:
Fly to Cedar City, Utah from Salt Lake City on Delta and drive one and a half hours east.

Fly to St. George, Utah from Salt Lake City on Delta or from Denver on United and drive just over two hours to the main gate.


Joshua Tree National Park14452499144_d01c5dd8f8_k
Joshua Tree National Park is characterized by rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes. Visitors of the Park can explore miles of trails as they take in the views including the “zig-zaggy” branches of the Joshua Tree from which the Park gets its name.

To get here:

Fly to Ontario, California from San Francisco on United, Salt Lake City on Delta or Portland on Alaska and drive two hours through the desert valley to reach Joshua Tree.
Fly to Palm Springs, California from Los Angeles on United, from Salt Lake City on Delta or Phoenix on American for a short 40 mile drive to the main gate.


Congaree National ParkWeather-Photo
This Park remains the largest intact area of old growth bottom-land hardwood forest in the southeastern US. Waters from the Congaree and Watree Rivers sweep through the Park bringing life to the miles of lofty trees. Congaree offers many options from canoeing and fishing to hiking and camping.

To get here:

Fly to Ashville, North Carolina from Chicago on United and drive two and a half hours southeast to Congaree.
Fly to Greenville, South Carolina from Detroit on Delta for a two hour drive.


Supporting The Miracle of Flight

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager


As the largest regional airline providing safe and reliable air service to more than 30 million passengers each year, the miracle of flight is at the center of the world we at SkyWest live and breathe every day. Our 11,700 professionals not only utilize their skills and expertise on a daily basis to safely carry more than 30 million passengers a year, but we also are active contributors to the communities where we live and work. So when the opportunity arose to be a part of the new FLIGHT exhibit at The Leonardo museum in SLC, SkyWest was a natural fit!

To help inspire and educate museum goers, SkyWest donated hundreds of used aircraft parts, components and, perhaps more importantly, members of the maintenance team donated their own time to assist in reconstructing parts of the exhibit. While SkyWest has never operated the C-131, our maintenance experts assembled the aircraft (inside of the museum!), which serves as the exhibit’s main attraction.


Hunt at The Leonardo

“SkyWest was founded on the belief that, through collaboration and innovation, we could improve our communities and the world around us,” said Lori Hunt, SkyWest VP of People. “It’s clear that our core principles resonate with the museum and its mission toward that same innovation and creativity. By sharing our love for flight with visitors, we’ll continue to inspire progress, evolution and excellence in the world of aviation.”

“We couldn’t have completed the exhibit without SkyWest’s generous donation, time and expertise in aviation,” said Alexandra Hesse, Executive Director of The Leonardo. “They were truly a community partner and we are so proud to have them here as the largest carrier in Salt Lake City.”

The Leonardo’s FLIGHT exhibit is an immersive experience into the world and ecosystem of flight, featuring several components and displays. Of course, putting together such an exhibit, that includes a rebuilt C-131 aircraft, flight simulators and aircraft parts, requires authentic materials and professional expertise to assemble those materials. The exhibit opened Aug. 6 and is expected to be at the museum for at least two years. For more information about the exhibit, visit


Why First Class Pilots Choose SkyWest

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

Put it all together and it’s clear that SkyWest pilots have more opportunity, exposure and access than any other regional pilot in the industry!

Today, SkyWest’s nearly 4,000 pilots operate more than 1,800 flights each day to more than 200 destinations throughout North America. But it doesn’t stop there – SkyWest is currently hiring new pilots to support the company’s continuing growth and new aircraft. The application process is streamlined, making it easy to take control of your career today. Find out more information about our pilot careers, or simply complete the application on and a pilot recruiter will reach out to set up a convenient time for your interview. Take Control of Your Career. Apply at SkyWest Airlines today.

Cullen and Jordan's Class Photo

My SkyWest Journey: From Cadet to Pilot

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

The SkyWest Pilot Pathway Program provides a direct path for exceptional pilots with a desire to take control of their aviation career! Enhanced seniority, guaranteed final interviews and access to pilot mentors are just a few of the upgrades students can receive by becoming a SkyWest Cadet on your way to becoming one of SkyWest’s nearly 4,000 professional pilots.

We talked to three of our pilots who originally joined SkyWest as cadets – Dylan Girgen, Jordan Torrance and Cullen Burgess ­– about their experience with the SkyWest Pilot Pathway Program, SkyWest’s training, and the journey to becoming a professional SkyWest pilot.

Cullen and Jordan's Class Photo

Cullen and Jordan’s Class Photo

Dylan's Class Photo

Dylan’s Class Photo
















How did you hear about the SkyWest Pilot Pathway Program?

Dylan: I heard about the program through a friend that was in it before me – he was one of the first cadets. I joined because it was a fairly no risk commitment and it allowed me to feel a part of something bigger than just flight instructing. Being a cadet was a nice boost of confidence and drive to finish my hours as a CFI.

Jordan: I heard about [it] through my last job at Transpac Aviation Academy. Several of my buddies stressed the importance of the cadet program, mainly for one reason – you get propelled to the top seniority of your new hire class, and I knew having the edge in seniority was going to be significant.

What was your favorite benefit of being a SkyWest Cadet?

Cullen: It was nice to have an introduction to the company and be somewhat made a part of the team prior to showing up to day one.

Jordan: My favorite thing about being a SkyWest cadet was the advantage in seniority. We bid on our simulator time and location slots, all in the order of our seniority.

Dylan: Being a cadet, it was fun to interact with current SkyWest pilots. The recruitment pilots visited us at UND and took is out for dinner. This let us see the “real side” of someone who works at SkyWest, not just a practiced speech.

How did your guaranteed final interview go?

Dylan: The final interview went really well because we already knew our college representative. The informal dinners were really good for asking questions about what to expect in the interview and the real job.

Cullen: My interview went very nicely – everyone on the interview team was very kind. They were forward with what they were looking for and it made the day a lot easier knowing how it would go. I felt prepared for it. My advice is to study as much as you can. Making an effort to understand the airline world prior to entering shows them that you take it seriously. Knowing systems and regulations that apply are key, as well as things like exemption 3585. For the interview portion, show them that you’re someone they can sit next to for four days. That’s a big key, being a human being.

How was your training experience?

Cullen: Training was fairly straight forward and I felt like the whole teaching staff wanted us to succeed. I knew that there would be a lot of effort required to pass and I had to be willing to put in the effort. If you needed extra help on anything and let them know they were 100 percent willing to help out. That being said, almost everyone who did put the effort in made it through. That’s not something that all airlines can say, people I talk to now from other airlines talk about their dropout rates and they’re much higher than ours.


Jordan in the flight deck

Jordan: Training wasn’t too much of a surprise. The ground instructors brief you on what to expect. That, coupled with what my friends had told me, made me feel prepared. The simulator portion was by far the toughest. There are so many things to know, it’s a little overwhelming to say the least. What’s challenging is knowing all the callouts, the profiles, the procedures, learning to fly a new plane and then top that off with the stress of being evaluated on everything you do. It’s not a walk in the park.

Why did you choose to fly with SkyWest?

Dylan: It’s a great company with people that care about each other. I chose SkyWest because they have a huge pilot staff, a large route structure and for these reasons I knew SkyWest was stable and growing!

Cullen: Choosing SkyWest boiled down to quality of training and quality of life. First and foremost I want to fly safely for a safe airline, and then I was hoping to be able to have some high quality of life as well. I could see with the training that there are high standards and I liked that. I also saw the potential for a quality of life prior to coming here; now that I am here the movement is unreal. Very soon I will most likely hold a line in Detroit, which is incredible for only being a couple months in. I feel that SkyWest would be okay in an economic downturn as well, so I don’t fear for my job as others do at other airlines. I would suggest to not to be persuaded to join a company for a bonus or a 6 month upgrade, go where you can learn to be part of the best and in the meantime still enjoy good pay without fear of losing a job as well as enjoy good people to work with!

Jordan: I’ve always heard positive things about SkyWest. The aviation industry seems like it’s in constant turmoil but SkyWest remains fairly constant and treats their employees well. Other regional airlines seem to always be uncertain of their future but the future is bright for SkyWest. We have tons of aircraft and continue to grow. It’s a great time to be in this company!

Dylan IOE

Dylan and crew.

Interested in joining the SkyWest Pilot Pathway Program and becoming a cadet? Apply online at

Doolittle Raid

Honoring a WWII Hero

Layne Watson
Corporate Communications Manager

Doolittle_RaiderNearly 75 years after the historic Doolittle Raider mission as part of WWII, SkyWest was honored to fly the last surviving member of the Doolittle Raiders, Lieutenant Colonel Dick Cole (age – 101), to attend the funeral service of a fellow Doolittle Raider. With a World War II hero on their flight, the SkyWest crew (CA Mike Spencer, FO Jeff Blaylock and FA Hayley Neves) ensured Lt. Col. Cole received the hero’s welcome he deserved.

“The entire crew went above and beyond to make this a special day for Lt. Col. Cole,” said Tracy Gallo – VP of Flight Ops. “That he was going to bury the last remaining member of his squad made the service even more meaningful.”

Left to Right, Front Row: Lt. Col. D.H. Doolittle; Lt. R.E. Cole. Back row: Lt. H.A. Potter; SSgt. F.A. Braemer; SSgt. P.J. Leonard

Lt. Col. Cole was part of one of  the most famous missions in U.S. military history when, on April 18, 1942,  he and 79 other brave members of the U.S. Air Force set out aboard 16 B-25B Mitchell medium bombers as part of  the United States’ response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Their mission, to bomb Japanese forces in Tokyo, was highly dangerous as their bombers were unable to land on the aircraft carrier they took off from.

Led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, 15 of the bombers landed in China after carrying out there mission, where eight crewmembers were captured by Japanese soldiers. The other bomber landed in the Soviet Union, where the crew was interned for more than a year before being returned to the U.S. In total, the Doolittle Raiders lost 11 men on their mission. The remaining 69 heroes returned home to the U.S. With the passing of his friend, Lt. Col. Cole is the last living Doolittle Raider.

Doolittle RaidUpon learning that he would captain the flight carrying this special passenger, Captain Spencer made a quick trip to the local grocery store to pick up nine dozen donuts. The crew then met Lt. Col. Cole in the boarding area and escorted him to the aircraft and arranged for him to sit in row one. After boarding was complete, the donuts were passed out to passengers as Captain Spencer read the story of the Doolittle Raiders over the intercom. The cabin was quick to give Lt. Col. Cole a huge round of applause.

Lt. Col. Cole continued to receive the VIP treatment throughout the duration of his flight to MSO, where he was again escorted by the crew. As we celebrate the birth of the United States this Independence Day weekend, a special thanks to Lt. Col. Cole and all those who have served and continue to preserve our freedoms. At SkyWest, we proudly support more than 1,000 active or retired military members across our operation.

Our crew Mike, Jeff and Hayley are another great example of SkyWest’s unique culture where 11,600+ employees are continually going out of their way to make a difference for their passengers. To learn more about working at SkyWest, visit .

Read more stories about SkyWest People Making a Difference!

44 Years

44 Years of SkyWest

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Forty-four years ago this week, SkyWest completed its first scheduled flight. Since that time, it has gone from three part-time employees to more than 11,000, and expanded from one route running from St. George, Utah to Salt Lake City via Cedar City, Utah to more than
200 destinations throughout North America.


SkyWest has weathered industry tumult and change better than most, and has grown extensively guided by timeless principles throughout its rich, 44-year history.

“SkyWest is a successful company because we have an amazing team of people who are focused on doing the right things right,” said President and CEO Chip Childs. “Staying focused on the fundamentals: taking the best care of our people, our customers and our shareholders; we have teams with a real desire to lead the industry and who are willing to work for that.”

SkyWest is successful because of its people. Whether dealing with industry changes or tremendous growth, SkyWest people work together to provide impeccable service and continue to succeed.

Do you want to become a part of the SkyWest legacy and see what it’s like to be on a winning team? Check out and start your SkyWest journey today!