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SkyWest Teams Strong at ORD Plane Pull for Special Olympics

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

As part of SkyWest’s Appreciation Week festivities, Chicago based crewmembers joined together to raise money for The Special Olympics in the ultimate tug of war – competing to pull a plane by a rope. ORD plane pull 2

Teams “SkyWest” and “SkyWest Strong” put their muscles to the test pulling an Airbus A300; no easy feat considering it weights nearly 180,000 pounds! Beyond raising funds for a great cause, a good time was had by all!

SkyWest believes in supporting the causes our people are passionate about through the Spirit of SkyWest: Our People in Action program, which is set up to allow SkyWest contributions for any SkyWest team member participating in an eligible charitable 501(c)(3) cause. It’s just one of the many ways SkyWest gives back to the communities we serve through our amazing people.

 

 

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SkyWest Appreciation Week 2017!

Jacob Molnar
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Games, photos, fun and plenty of food were just some of the ways SkyWest’s more than 12,200 team members celebrated each other and their amazing work as part of Appreciation Week 2017. This year, SkyWest employees have already helped successfully operate more than 500,000 flights while adding 56 aircraft to the fleet and welcoming two new domiciles. Impressive numbers made possible by the best workforce in the industry!

Throughout the week, team members submitted photos of their daily operations from across the country, then voted for their favorites. Stunning shots of flight decks, airplane tails and maintenance hangars were submitted and voted on. Not only do SkyWest airline professionals have talent in the industry, they also are handy with a camera.

Photo Contest Winner - Photo by JAC Ramp Agent Katie Tolin

Photo Contest Winner – Katie Tolin, JAC Ramp Agent

There was plenty of fun to be had as teams gathered in locations all across SkyWest country for some creative games and contests. With balloon darts, homemade mini golf courses, photo booths and numerous other events, the fun and competition was off the charts. Of course, what’s a party without food? Taco trucks, BBQs, pizza – you name it and it was likely on the menu somewhere during the week!

It’s all part of celebrating the greatest team that makes SkyWest the best regional airline in the industry. To see some of the fun from 2017 Appreciation Week, check out the photos below!

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My SkyWest Journey: SAN and BOI Pilots Return Home with New Bases

Jeff Aders
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Today, two new SkyWest domiciles opened: San Diego (SAN) and Boise, Idaho (BOI). With the addition of SAN and BOI, SkyWest now has 17 domiciles in operation across the country. To hear about how having more domicile options improved their quality of life, we reached out to two captains who are returning to their hometowns. Read below to hear how their SkyWest Journey has brought them home!


BOI-SAN-1024x684whiteCaptain Mark Valentine was born and raised in Boise, Idaho. When SkyWest announced it would be opening a Boise domicile (BOI), Captain Valentine was among the first to apply for a transfer. While he didn’t expect to hold the base right away, he was thrilled when it got awarded.

“I can now drive 10 minutes to work!” Captain Valentine said. “It is so much more convenient than the two-hour commute I had before.”

Boise is where Captain Valentine was first introduced to his love of flight. When he accompanied his father on a trip to a business meeting, 6-year-old Mark stayed awake for the entire flight while his father fell asleep. The family friend who was flying the aircraft noticed the young boy attentively awake and offered to have him come into the cockpit.

“What 6-year-old is going to turn down an offer to fly a plane?” Captain Valentine said. “I remember sitting in the cockpit for probably half an hour, amazed that I was flying the plane.”

That was all it took for Captain Valentine to establish his new dream.

After serving in the military for a few years, Captain Valentine returned home to Idaho and enrolled in a flight school to pursue his childhood dream.

In June of 2012, Captain Valentine upgraded from a smaller airplane to SkyWest. He says that once he was hired, he has never looked back!

“The people at SkyWest are what make this place so unique,” Captain Valentine said. “The culture here is much more like a family than anything else.”


IMG_0286Captain Rick Salvador has been living in San Diego since being hired at SkyWest over 16 years ago, though until today he’s been commuting to his LAX base. When he heard he was awarded the new San Diego (SAN) domicile, he responded like a true Californian:

“There’s no more traffic and driving up the 405 to get to LAX. The quality of life just got so much better!”

Captain Salvador started his career as a SkyWest pilot in 2001. When SkyWest retired the Brasilia in 2014, he took the next available CRJ class and spent two years based out of SkyWest’s Denver (DEN) hub before transferring to LAX.

Captain Salvador looks forward to being based back in his hometown after three years of commuting. He is excited for the opportunities the base presents, and the chance to mentor new pilots.

“I really enjoy the camaraderie with the people at SkyWest, especially at the smaller domiciles,” said Captain Salvador. “It truly makes for a pleasant place to work.”


SkyWest flies in partnership with four major airlines including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. These partnerships give our pilots more opportunity and exposure than any other regional airline pilot. Check out our pilot career guide for more information, and Take Control of your Career with SkyWest.

 

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Tips to Prep for Your SkyWest interview

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

Applying and interviewing for your dream job can be a bit daunting, but to help you here are some tips to help you feel prepared for an interview at SkyWest Airlines:

  • Do some research! A good place to start is on our company “About Us” page and our SkyWest history timeline.
  • Study the duties and qualifications of the job from the career guide and application. Be ready to speak confidently about your skills and how you are capable of fulfilling – and exceeding — expectations. Come prepared with ways you would be a good fit and how you could positively add to SkyWest’s team.
  • Dress appropriately and be prepared with thoughtful questions.
  • Be yourself and show off how you’d fit in the SkyWest team! At SkyWest, we always welcome professional and positive team members who are exceptional at their craft, enhance our company culture and represent our Guiding Principles:
    • Health and Safety First
    • Excellent Service and Quality
    • Personal and Operational Reliability
    • Fairness and Consistency
    • Respect and Teamwork
    • Personal and Corporate Integrity
    • Superior Profitability and Efficient Use of All Resources

SkyWest Employees Group ShotYou’ve got this. SkyWest Airlines was named on Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Interview 2017” list. Come and see for yourself how great interviewing at SkyWest is! Find open positions and apply online at www.skywest.com/careers.

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Be Ready for Your Upgrade

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

SkyWest is known for one of the best pilot training programs in the industry. From a pilot’s first contact with SkyWest’s training department at our ATP CTP course to captain upgrade training, SkyWest is focused on professionalism and proficiency for every pilot. We use an AQP curriculum, and our certified SkyWest instructors are all SkyWest pilots who know what it’s like to fly the line. This makes it so our pilots are uniquely prepared for their upgrade to captain around 2 years.

Check out what V.P. of Flight Ops Tracy Gallo, Director of Training Dave Moxham and CRJ Captain Mitch Lucas II have to say about the training SkyWest Airlines offers:

SkyWest pilots have more opportunities to Take Control of Their Careers than any other regional pilot, including the best training, quality of life and career advancement opportunities. Learn more about our current upgrade times by visiting skywest.com/pilot and checking out the “Seniority” tab.

Be ready for your upgrade and Take Control of Your Career. Apply Today!

2017 Scholarship

SkyWest Scholarship Program Awards 45 Outstanding Students

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

Congratulations to this year’s SkyWest Scholarship recipients! SkyWest is home to the best and brightest in the industry and that fact was emphasized by the caliber of employees and dependents vying for a shot at this year’s awards. More than 150 driven students with lofty goals and aspirations applied for a chance to receive one of three different scholarships to assist them in their pursuits of higher education.

Captain Morgan Simmons, E175 Fleet Training Manager

Captain Morgan Simmons, E175 Fleet Training Manager

Coincidently, as SkyWest celebrates 45 years of flying in 2017, this year’s evaluations resulted in awards for 45 remarkable students! The recipients had a diverse range of academic ambitions to enhance their lives and those around them. In fact, Presidential Scholarship recipient Captain Morgan Simmons, E175 Fleet Training Manager recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first solo flight. He continues to fulfill his childhood aviation dreams by helping to lead SkyWest’s exceptional pilot training program for its fleet of over 100 E175 aircraft. He is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Human Factors to find ways to continue enhancing aviation safety and training. And Chicago ERJ First Officer Simon Biaggini who also received a Presidential award, is now studying to receive a Master’s Degree in Aviation and Transportation Science after serving in the Israeli Air Force and bringing his dream of flying to America as he plans to advance his career in aviation

ERJ First Officer Simon Biaggini

The SkyWest Scholarship Committee, made up of representatives from each of the SkyWest employee groups, volunteered countless hours to evaluate more than 150 applications. Each application was scored on a variety of criteria, including GPA, career interests, future goals extracurricular activities and unique challenges. With so many bright and goal-driven applicants, the committee was charged with the difficult task of identifying the cream of the crop!

From graduate students to college freshmen, each of the recipients exemplifies what sets SkyWest apart: dedication and hard work to achieve big dreams. Congratulations to each of this year’s SkyWest Scholarship recipients! We look forward to watching you soar in your academic and professional pursuits!

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SkyWest Partners with Habitat for Humanity to Celebrate 45 Years!

Hanna Hansen
Corporate Communications Coordinator

SkyWest Airlines celebrated 45 years of flight on June 19, 2017. To commemorate, SkyWest people traded their wings for shovels, hammers and work gloves to give back to the communities in which we live and work. Over the course of a few weeks, dozens of employees came together alongside Habitat for Humanity to donate their time and their muscle in the cities of Salt Lake, Denver and Chicago. Through these construction events, SkyWest people were able to map out foundations, prepare and clear lots, frame walls and complete a number of other tasks to set the framework (quite literally!) for each beneficiary’s success.

Stepping out of their traditional daily roles, participants demonstrated their goodness and willingness to give back, as well as the SkyWest commitment to teamwork and quality. As Dontay Riley of Chicago InFlight said, “The coolest part for me has been being able to…come together — not with the fixture of an airplane in front of us — and watch this organic teamwork happen.”

 

A Year of Giving

SkyWest will continue to celebrate 45 years of flying throughout the year with additional ways of giving back to the communities around us. Be sure to watch SkyBlog for more SkyWest happenings!

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity, visit Habitat.org

Rice Family

Families that Fly Together: Thanks Dad!

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

For brothers Robert and Cory Rice, SkyWest is quite literally part of the family. Inspired to become pilots by their father, retired SkyWest Captain Brent Rice, Robert and Cory told us about how aviation, and SkyWest, runs in their blood.

“Before my dad got into flying he was in a high stress business,” said Captain Cory Rice. “I saw him so much more as a pilot than with his old job; he flew for SkyWest from 1986 to 2000. He had a good time flying.”

Captain Robert Rice continued, “I had never seen him happier than when he made the switch to flying at SkyWest. He switched to doing something he loved and getting paid to do it. It was a completely new, challenging experience. [I learned to] make sure you do something you love and love what you do. Then, when you’re working it doesn’t feel like working.”

Cory remembers early on his dad would talk about how great SkyWest and the lifestyle was.

“It was definitely a SkyWest family that I saw firsthand,” said Cory. “He had made so many friends and loved it so much, that it inspired us all to do our flight training as soon as we could.”

And by all, he means all four of the Rice siblings! Their little sister also flew for SkyWest and their oldest brother also received his pilots’ licenses, and the siblings had the rare chance to train together and fly together over the years.Rice Family 2

Robert remembers flying in the EMB120 Brasilia with his dad – he even had the chance to fly with him for an entire month! When asked what he learned from that experience, Robert said, “What I learned is you can be a safe pilot, obey all the rules and still have fun. If you treat your fellow workers with kindness and respect you always get the best effort.”

“My dad is a pretty laid back guy and he taught us to be laid back and rational and to never jump to make a bad decision,” said Cory. “That and the value of friendships within the company. It’s where I’ve met my closest friends.”

At least one Captain Rice has flown at SkyWest over the past 31 years, and they’ve seen plenty of changes to the airline and the industry. Still, some things haven’t changed at all.

“Even though SkyWest has gotten much bigger than when I first was hired, it still has that family feel,” said Robert. “I found out long ago from my Dad’s example that this job is what you make it; respect everyone and enjoy life!”

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Pilot Becomes Life Changing Pen Pal

Thirteen-year-old Samuel and his mom have become frequent SkyWest passengers as they’ve traveled to receive treatment for Samuel’s medical complications. Last summer, while waiting to board a SkyWest aircraft, Samuel got the chance to speak to the pilot, Seattle ERJ Captain Jeff Ross. The brief interaction gave Samuel a new friend and a new outlook on life.

Samuel’s mother recently sent us a letter expressing her thanks and describing her son’s incredible experience:

This is something I’ve attempted to write many times, but I’ve never been able to find the words that accurately describe how incredible our experience has been or do this story justice…

Last summer, …[Sam] got the chance to speak to the pilot a bit… We were surprised to see the same man the next day for our return flight and happy to find out that he not only remembered Sam, but that he would once again be our captain.

The two took a photo together and Captain Ross gave Sam an email address, asking if he could forward the photo along.

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Before long, they were exchanging letters and postcards. Jeff sent an old receiver of his to Sam because they fly over us heading into and out of BOI and it would allow Sam to listen and learn. He’s also sent books Sam’s way, encouraged him to keep on reading and to work hard in school and reminded him of how strong and brave he is when Sam has had to face more scary or painful procedures.

Eight months later, Sam is happier than ever, no longer saying things like he wishes he’d never been born (something that had been becoming more frequently heard because he’d grown so very weary from being different and dealing with pain).

I just wanted to thank you for hiring people like Jeff who go above and beyond on a daily basis. We have thoroughly enjoyed almost all of our flights and its because of the people you choose to hire.

As of today, Sam and Captain Jeff are good friends who spend time planning the ultimate trip they could take together if money wasn’t an issue. So far, it includes flying upside down, jumping out of a plane, visiting Legoland and Disney World and spending lots of time in a flight simulator. Sam understands this trip isn’t possible, but just dreaming about it has put a smile on his face.

Captain Jeff has changed Sam’s life, filled it with joy and helped him to deal with the things that make him different while also embracing and celebrating them at the same time because its all part of what makes Sam an incredible person.

Thank you, Captain Ross, for your compassion, kindness and leadesrhip. His is one of many amazing examples of SkyWest people making a positive difference. Read more incredible stories like this.

Interested in joining the phenomenal SkyWest team? Learn more about positions at SkyWest Airlines at www.skywest.com/careers.