Tag Archives: SkyWest Airlines

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Love is in the Air: Why I Love Flying

Brandon Fonda
Corporate Communications Coordinator

As chocolate hearts and red roses fly off the shelves for Valentine’s Day, we’ve asked our SkyWest Pilots to share what they love most about flying.

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I love flying because I’ve truly been able to make a career out of a hobby. Every day I come to work I get excited to be at the controls of an airliner and experience what few people can. 

-Kyle Lucas – CRJ Captain, ORD

There’s something so special about floating miles above the earth for hours on end. That’s why I love to fly.

-Will Young – CRJ Captain, MSP

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I love to fly because of the perspective it brings me. Beyond that I love the personal human interaction it brings to so many including myself. Flying has allowed me to see the purest human emotions from so many people. The greatest emotion being the love that flying allows when it unites friends, family and cultures.

-Scott Weddell – ERJ First Officer, SFO

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I am so happy with my career choice. I would never trade it. I love flying even on the more challenging days that test my skills.

-Mary Conti – CRJ Captain, PSP

I love that when I sit down in the flight deck, it is assumed that the guy or girl next to me is already a friend whether I have met them before or not. That is the SkyWest culture.

-Matthew S. Schroeder – ERJ Captain, DEN

ILoveFlying3SkyWest has nearly 11,900 professionals who love what they do. Everyday they share that love of aviation to over 208 destinations with a fleet of 370 aircraft. If you’re ready to love what you do, come join our team!

 

 

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SkyWest Provides CTP Course for Pilots

Brandon Fonda
Corporate Communications Coordinator

SkyWest pilots have more opportunity, exposure and access than any other regional pilot. With over a dozen domiciles, a fleet of over 360 airplanes, and flying agreements with four mainline partners – United, Delta, American and Alaska, SkyWest has excellent quality of life for every First Officer. And in addition, SkyWest has the best training in the industry.

SGU Dedication_0046-2From the moment an aspiring pilot completes an application and passes a pilot interview, they start to experience this unmatched training first hand; staring with the SkyWest Certification Training Program (CTP).

“CTP was both hard work and a lot of fun,” SkyWest First Officer Cory Schenker said. “It’s very easy for this wealth of new knowledge to become overwhelming but SkyWest utilizes just the right people with just the right enthusiasm to keep it fun, engaging and highly informative.”

PilotQuote1Once a pilot’s application and interview have been accepted, SkyWest will provide the means to complete a SkyWest approved CTP course, which introduces pilots to SkyWest’s rigorous training, while also preparing them to have a smooth transition into ground school.

“I thought [CTP] was great, especially for people like me coming straight from general aviation,” SkyWest First Officer Adam Crismon said. “It was nice to have an introduction into jet aviation and a basic understanding of what to expect before training. I really enjoyed the classroom information and how it directly related to SkyWest instead of a generic example.”

Part of what sets the SkyWest CTP course apart is that the instructors are all current SkyWest pilots.

“For me, the real benefit of CTP is that the same instructors teach both CTP and the new hire classes,” Cory said. “I didn’t realize just how much the instructors were preparing me to succeed.”

Another benefit of the SkyWest CTP course is that students will be training in the aircraft you will be flying as a pilot at SkyWest. The 10 hours of simulation time will also count toward your total hours.

“I really liked the fact that we were in the same type simulator as what we were going to be flying and training in,” Adam said. “I found that as a huge step up and boost in training efficiency.”

“The 10 hours you get in the sim during CTP is extremely valuable,” Cory said. “Becoming familiar with SkyWest procedures, callouts and the airplane itself takes time. When I began sim training I was able to hit the ground running as opposed just get familiar.”

PilotQuote2Travel and hotel accommodations, a 65 hour monthly training guarantee, and a CTP study partner are just a few of the other benefits pilots who go through SkyWest’s CTP have.

“Overall I was very happy with the CTP program and would highly recommend it to anyone entering the commercial airlines aviation industry,” Adam said.

From day one, SkyWest Airlines gives pilots industry leading training. It’s just one of the many reasons SkyWest pilots have more opportunities than any other regional pilot and are sought after by every major airline. Take Control of Your Career. Apply online today.

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Honoring Our Veterans

Caitlin Miller
People Programs Coordinator

2015_veterans_daySkyWest is home to more than 1,000 men and women who are serving or have served our country, many of whom are in the reserves and can be called on at any moment to active service. As part of our team of more than 11,000, these brave individuals put their background and experience to work to provide safe, exceptional service to more than 30 million SkyWest passengers each year.

As we pause to honor our veterans on this day, SkyWest Corporate Communications manager Layne Watson shares a story about his grandfather, Lynn Watson, who served in the Army during WWII.

My grandfather served in the 104th Infantry Division during World War II. He and his division were near Antwerp, Belgium when the Battle of the Bulge began. General Eisenhower called my grandfather’s general and told him, “You have Germans on three sides of you. If you want to pull back, you have my permission.”

Every time my grandfather would tell me this story he would tear up as he recalled his general’sgrandpa-watson response: “We paid for this ground in blood and we are keeping it!”

Sure enough, the town that the 104th had taken was soon under German attack. Eventually, my grandfather and one other soldier were separated from the rest of their troop and the town was surrounded by German forces. The two of them took cover in an old barn. My grandfather would later discover that he and his comrade were presumed dead.

For the next 48 hours, my grandfather eluded German forces (and friendly bombing) before making it to a safe zone. When he returned to his outfit, they were preparing to send his belongings to my grandmother with the news that he had been killed in action. My grandmother would always recall how grateful she was to have never received that notice.

I am incredibly grateful for my grandfather and the countless other brave souls like him who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms.

Please join us in honoring and saluting all of our U.S. military members for their brave and selfless service to help protect the freedoms we enjoy.

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How I Became a SkyWest Pilot: Koko Kostelny

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

Miyukiko (Koko) Kostelny, a SkyWest CRJ first officer, knew she wanted to be a pilot ever since she was a young child. And after attending a Women in Aviation Conference, where she met several SkyWest pilots, she knew that she wanted to fly for SkyWest.


How did you decide to become a pilot?

FullSizeRenderGrowing up I was surrounded by military aviation, as my father was an A-6 Navigator in the Marine Corps. My family was stationed mostly overseas, so whenever it was vacation time or we were visiting family, we got to fly on many different airlines and aircraft. I still remember as a little girl going up to the flight deck during flights to Guam on a 737, a 747 to Chicago, or a 777 passing through Hawaii. Sometimes we even flew military standby!

Even as a kid, I vividly remember pilots showing me the flight deck. I collected plastic wings from every airline we flew and always begged my parents to wait so I could sit up in the flight deck and get my picture taken after we landed. What I really loved was seeing female pilots flying on long international hauls because I thought “[I]f they can do that, I can do it one day.”

As a kid, it seemed like a dream job to wake up and fly to/from all of these exotic destinations… all while soaring through the clouds. I couldn’t imagine people got to travel the world as a full-time job!

When I took a discovery flight in high school, it was a no brainer. I was hooked, and I knew that this was going to be my career. I knew I was going to enjoy the thrill of flying, and the ever-changing job environment. No day is the same as many things affect our flying, and I knew I would have satisfaction in flying and connecting passengers to the world, just as the pilots had done for me growing up.

What made you decide to come to SkyWest?

IMG_4749I wanted to be a part of something that was more than just an airline pilot. I wanted to belong to a company where I would truly feel at home; where it was diverse; where I could enjoy flying and have pride in taking our passengers to their destinations. I thought back to when I was an airline passenger and those pilots that showed me the flight deck – I wanted to have pride in my job, company and career. Pilots connected me to the world and I wanted to do the same.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have mentors at SkyWest and they have spoken so highly of the company over the years that I wanted to be a part of it.

When I first met SkyWest pilots, I was a freshman in college attending the Women in Aviation Conference. I was a shy student pilot and went to look at the exhibit booths. It was after the market had crashed, so the conference mood wasn’t the happiest. However, the SkyWest booth was something different. Everyone was still smiling there. I made my way over to the booth so I could talk to them.

I mentioned that, “I’m far from the airlines because just a student pilot, I’m waiting to take my private practical.” I was corrected by a female captain as she told me to have pride in every step of my career. A male pilot working the booth said the same thing. Before I knew it, the pilots were sharing their flight training experiences with me and we talked for a long time. I walked away from the booth with a nice SkyWest CRJ200 model (which is on my bookshelf to this day!), business cards, and a great impression of what could be a future employer. I still remain in contact with those pilots, and I went back to the SkyWest booth every year after that… and now I’m working for SkyWest.

I returned to that booth every year because I enjoyed seeing the friends and mentors I met my first year, and because I enjoyed meeting new SkyWest pilots every year.  As the years progressed, I knew I wanted to be at SkyWest. The company attracted me so much because of the great personalities of their employees. When flying on SkyWest flights in college, I saw pilots and flight attendants go out of their way to make the passengers’ flight more enjoyable. Seeing the pilots jump out of the flight deck to help the elderly even on a quick turn tells me that they aren’t here just to fly the plane. That’s the kind of co-workers I want to be surrounded with, and I’m so lucky to have that now.

What do people say when you tell them you’re a pilot?

Usually people are impressed! I get asked how young I am, or how I became a pilot.

One of the things I get the most is marveled eyes with, “But you don’t look like a pilot!” I then often ask them, “Well, what does a pilot look like?” Their response is usually laughter and something along the lines of, “Well, I didn’t expect a young, cheerful girl wearing lipstick!”

Sometimes people ask me if I’m really a pilot (even in my uniform!) or “Can girls really be pilots?” and that saddens me because that shows that some people out there still don’t have a good concept of female pilots, but it’s a rare occasion… that stigma is changing with the increasing number of female pilots!

On my last trip, I had an older Spanish-speaking man who needed help finding his gate. After I helped him look at the gate information, he paused to look at me up and down. He asked me what I did, so I told him that I was a pilot. He was so ecstatic to meet a female pilot that he proceeded to hug me and kiss me on the cheek! It took me by surprise, but he told me to always keep my chin high. He was a military pilot in his country, and he never worked with female pilots but thought it was so neat to meet one.

What advice would you give to women who are considering becoming pilots?

Get out to your nearest airport and take a discovery flight!  The next time you fly on an airline, ask the pilots to see the flight deck! You never know what might spark your interest. Have curiosity, and ask the pilots questions. If you want to be a pilot, don’t be shy about it. I’ve done many Girl Scout Aviation Merit Badge seminars with The Ninety-Nines, and so many girls are shy about liking airplanes, math or science. I think it’s wonderful to be engaged in those subjects. Know that flying is for boys and girls!

IMG_5197Just this past weekend, I had my first all-female crew. I was excited because it had only been a month of flying with SkyWest. On one of the turns, we had a mother and her daughter visit the flight deck. Although that family flew a lot, they had never seen a female pilot… let alone an all-female crew! The little girl walked up to the flight deck, pushed by her mother. She was shy, but said hi. After asking us what some of the buttons and switches did, she asked, “Why are you the first girl pilots I met?” I didn’t know what to say… but then after getting plastic wings she whispered, “I want to be a pilot too, so I can look pretty and see the clouds every day.” My heart was instantly warmed and I saw myself in that girl.

There are many resources now that can help with females in their journey of becoming a pilot. I am a member of Women in Aviation and The Ninety-Nines, both great organizations that have helped me become who I am. These two organizations are wonderful ways to get involved in aviation not only for friendship, but for mentoring, scholarships, memories and more. Through these organizations I’ve made great friends that each advanced in their own field of aviation. I’ve been fortunate to receive scholarships for flight training as well. There are opportunities for all levels, from student pilots to type ratings!

These organizations also have top notch mentoring programs built into them. I was a part of them as a college student, and now I’m the one giving advice to younger girls! Sometimes I find it hard to believe, but then I know that I made it where I am today because of others that helped me.


SkyWest supports Women in Aviation and will be attending the 2016 Conference March 10-12. The pilot recruiting team will also be holding on-site interviews for those who are ready to take their career to new heights. Learn more about flying at SkyWest and apply today by visiting www.skywest.com.

Check out this blog post featuring SkyWest Captains, Mary Conti, Suzy Garrett, and Jen Johnson. Not only have they realized their dream of flying, but they continue to set an example for other young women and girls to follow.

Jen Johnson with an all-female crew on a recent flight.

SkyWest Pilots Help More Women Lean Into Aviation

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

It’s becoming more and more common to see women flying commercial aircraft, thanks in part to those like Mary Conti, Suzy Garrett, Jen Johnson and many others at SkyWest. Not only have they realized their dream of flying, but they continue to set an example for other young women and girls to follow.

Jen Johnson with an all-female crew on a recent flight.

Captain Jen Johnson with her crew on a recent flight.

Mary Conti
CRJ Captain based in Palm Springs, California
Hired in 1985, Mary is one of SkyWest’s first female captains.

Mary, when did you decide to become a pilot and how did you end up flying for SkyWest?

Mary: When I was 23, I became a pilot for my personal use, because no one hired female pilots (in 1976). I owned my own airplane, and when I finished my bachelor’s degree, I did some instructing. That led to a job selling airplanes, which led to a corporate job. I ended up flying tours out of Moab, Utah which then led me to flying for SkyWest. 

Obviously, there have been some changes in the industry since you began. What have you seen change?

Mary: There are so many more females in aviation now! Only a few airlines were hiring female pilots when I started here. I was one of the first two female captains SkyWest had! There just weren’t many of us, but as more females started applying to be pilots, the entire industry has changed. 

Any advice for women who are considering an aviation career?

Mary: I am so happy with my career choice. I would never trade it. I love flying. I love being out flying even on the more challenging days that test my skills. I think it’s the love of flying that brings pilots in, male or female. So my only advice is, if you have a real love for flying, do it!

And there are real opportunities here at SkyWest. We have really good bases for people. As far as regionals go, SkyWest is the best. It’s a place where people want to stay. A lot of people, like me, come thinking that it’ll just be a starting place and they realize they love it! The company is strong. We’ve lasted all this time. I’ve seen so many other regionals go upside down or go away completely, but SkyWest is a good, stable company. We have a great reputation with our partners. I don’t think SkyWest will be going away any time soon. And above all, no one treats their people as good as SkyWest does.

Suzy Garrett with her family at the Great Wall of China.

Captain Suzy Garrett with her family at the Great Wall of China.

Suzy Garrett
CRJ Captain based in Los Angeles, California
Suzy was the 11th female pilot hired at SkyWest.

Hi Suzy! So, when did you KNOW you wanted to be a pilot?

Suzy: In 8th grade. I was flying out of Phoenix and it was a beautiful day. There were puffy white clouds and blue skies, and I knew right then that I wanted to fly for a living.

 Why do you love being a pilot?

Suzy: The variety of my days; I’m not just in an office.

 What makes SkyWest a good choice for a pilot?

Suzy: Well, my husband is also a pilot and he flew for SkyWest too! We have three kids and I couldn’t have asked for a better fit for our family. I was really able to have my cake and eat it too. Here at SkyWest, I was able to be senior faster and hold a line that worked for my life and my family life. SkyWest made it really easy to tailor my schedule. Having so many domiciles also makes it great!

Plus it’s a great company. It’s really fantastic! I never have worried about being furloughed or the company’s stability. I can count on SkyWest to be reliable. Those looking at choosing which regional to fly at should consider that portion! Don’t just look at the regionals as a quick stepping stone. You want a stable company no matter how long you plan to be there. Choose somewhere that is going to be a strong, stable company.

What other advice would you give someone who is looking at becoming a pilot?

Suzy: Number one would be, don’t take no for an answer and don’t give up. When I first started out to become a pilot, the military was the main path. I’m only 5’1” and the military and the major airlines had height requirements for their pilots. Everyone told me I should just quit, but I kept with it and soon the height requirements went away! Also, back then, there weren’t women pilots. There is a stereotype of who a pilot is and what they look like, but don’t believe it! Just go for it. You don’t have to be a John Wayne character to fly a plane! Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!

Jen Johnson
ERJ Captain based in Denver, Colorado
Joined SkyWest nearly 13 years ago.

Jen, when did you decide you wanted to be a pilot?

Jen: All I ever thought about was being a pilot. My dad and I flew in a 172 that belonged to one of his friends and I loved it. My dad got sick, but I knew it was for me. There still is nothing else I could see myself doing.

What three words would you use to describe your time flying for SkyWest?

Jen: I love it. I’ve been here 12 years. I’m a check airman on the E175, and I just love it here. I love where we fly. I love the people I work with.

What do you enjoy most about being at SkyWest?

Jen: The comradery here is great. It’s like a family. You know each other and remember each other, and there is a family feeling and people care about each other from the chief pilot down.

Any advice for women considering a career as a pilot?

Jen: You can do it! It’s a male-dominated field, but there’s no good reason you can’t do it. I suggest that you go fly! Once you get in the air one time, and the flying bug bites you (if it bites you like it did me) you’ll be hooked. Go out and try it!

How have you seen the role of women in aviation change since you began?

Jen: When I was a new hire here, 12 ½ years ago, I might have flown with another female pilot once during the year. I fly with a lot more female first officers now. There’s not a ton – it’s still an exciting thing when I get an all-female crew – but it feels like there are a lot more coming, and that’s a good thing.

SkyWest Airlines is home to more than 11,000 of the best professionals in the airline industry. Those who are ready to pursue their dream of flying should apply online at www.skywest.com today!

SkyWest is also proud to work with groups like Women in Aviation International to help advance the role of women in aviation and will be attending the 27th annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee March 10-12, 2016. Learn more at www.wai.org.

And check out our blog highlighting one of our new CRJ First Officers who, after attending a Women in Aviation Conference, she knew that she wanted to fly for SkyWest.

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Become a SkyWest Flight Attendant

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

SkyWest flight attendants are part of an exciting team of professionals who love working in the travel industry and sharing their enthusiasm with passengers. This is a dynamic and exciting position that allows you to travel, meet new challenges, and be invigorated every day as you portray the essence of SkyWest to our customers!

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“Layla and I love flying together. It’s always a lot of fun!” – Mary Deperrot, Chicago-based flight attendant.

Those who are ready to become a SkyWest flight attendant may submit an application today and attend a  flight attendant interview at any one of the following locations in March:

  • March 1 in Minneapolis, Minneapolis
  • March 2 in La Crosse, Wisconsin
  • March 2 in Fargo, North Dakota
  • March 3 in Eugene, Oregon
  • March 3 in Portland, Oregon
  • March 7 in Orlando, Florida
  • March 8 in Colorado Spring, Colorado
  • March 8 in Dallas, Texas
  • March 9 in Santa Barbara, California
  • March 9 in Houston, Texas
  • March 10 in San Francisco, California
  • March 10 in Memphis, Tennessee
  • March 15 in Seattle, Washington
  • March 15 in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • March 16 in Chicago, Illinois
  • March 16 in Aurora, Colorado
  • March 17 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • March 17 in Atlanta, Georgia
  • March 22 in San Antonio, Texas
  • March 23 in Madison, Wisconsin
  • March 24 in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • March 24 in Los Angeles, California
  • March 29 in St. Louis, Missouri
  • March 29 in Asheville, North Carolina
  • March 30 in Kansas City, Missouri
  • March 30 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • March 31 in Rogers, Arkansas
  • March 31 in Lincoln, Nebraska

Click here for more information about each of these events. Please note that the dates and locations of events may change without notice.

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How to Make Your SkyWest Application Stand Out

Rachelle Kolb
Hiring & Compliance Specialist

Applying and interviewing for a new job can be a challenge. To make things easier, members of the SkyWest recruiting team put together seven simple tips that will help a candidate stand out:

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  1. Clear, Specific Resume: A resume should be catered for a specific job; a pilot resume is going to look different from a ramp agent resume. Keep things short and ONLY include applicable information. Recruiters often screen hundreds of resumes and those that are the most successful include current contact information, work history (with an explanation of any gaps), education (college degrees are preferred) and current flight hours for pilot applications.
  2. Assessment Questions ARE Important: Specific assessment questions attached to the application are an important tool used to screen and find the best candidates for a position. Take time to think through any answers and always be specific. Recruiters tend to lose interest when questions are answered broadly.
  3. Professional One-Way Video Interviews: SkyWest, like many companies, uses one-way video interviews to learn more about candidates during the screening process. They should be treated like a face-to-face interview. Here are some tips to make a one-way video interview a good experience.
  4. Be Timely: When a candidate follows instructions and pays attention to detail, it tells the recruiter that they are motivated. Completing tasks like a video interview or homework assignment soon after being asked is a high indicator of an applicant’s work ethic and can help them have a leg up on the competition.
  5. Prepare for Face-to-Face Interviews: After making it through the initial screening and being invited to a face-to-face interview, applicants should take some time to study the duties and qualifications of the job, as well as information about SkyWest. Recruiters are assessing whether a candidate is a good fit for the position and doing some research about the position and the company will help. For the interview itself, dress appropriately and make eye contact when answering questions. Candidates should also be specific with any answers and take time, when needed, to provide an answer that will show the recruiters more of who they really are.
  6. Be Genuine: Talking around a question in an interview or stuffing a resume with fluff words and sentences will not help candidates stand out or show our recruiters who they really are. Being genuine and specific in each stage of the screening and interview process will help applicants be more successful.
  7. Be Positive, Approachable and Friendly: These qualities can help an applicant connect with a recruiter and also ties in with SkyWest’s culture, which focuses on working together. Hiring those who exemplify these qualities continues to strengthen SkyWest teams across the country and overflows to the millions of passengers who are boarding SkyWest flights every month.

To start putting these tips into practice, check out all of the positions that are currently available at SkyWest by visiting www.skywest.com.

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10 Things to Do in Midland, Texas

McKinnley Matson
Corporate Communications Coordinator

Midland, Texas offers a wealth of activities to fit any traveler’s taste – from foodies and sports enthusiasts to history buffs and the outdoorsy – all without sacrificing true Texas culture or Southern hospitality. Check out our list of top 10 must-see Midland attractions to start off a fantastic West Texas adventure!

Johnny's

1. No Texas vacation would be complete without experiencing some finger-licking Texas cuisine. Grab a taste of real Texas barbeque at Johnny’s BBQ Diner, a local favorite.

 

 

Gerado's

2. In the mood for Tex-Mex instead? Head over to Gerardo’s Casita for some authentic cuisine that you can only find in Texas.

 

 

 

Susie's

3. For dessert, don’t miss Susie’s South Forty Confections Candy Factory, a Guinness World Record-Holder for the largest piece of toffee.

 

 

 

4. PermianCatch up on Texas history at the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum and find out how Midland is connected to more than 16 percent of the nation’s oil reserves.

 

 

 

Alamo

5. Remember the Alamo! Make sure to pay a visit to the first bell that hung in the Alamo at the Haley Library and History Center.

 

 

 

6.Planet Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes access to the universe. Be sure to visit the Marion Blakemore Planetarium at the Museum of the Southwest.

 

 

 

Football7. Nothing completes the true Texan experience like attending a high school football game, where the entire community gathers for the intensely competitive games. See why West Texas high school football was the inspiration for Friday Night Lights.

 

 

8.Baseball For baseball fans, there’s also a Midland RockHounds game, Midland’s minor league baseball team.

 

 

 

Bend9. Midland offers the closest access to Big Bend National Park. This is especially good news for star gazers as this remote park is one of only 10 places on the planet that is certified for dark-sky stargazing and is well known for being one of the largest, most beautiful and least-crowded national parks in the U.S.

 

Sunset

10. In the end, Midland can always be counted on to provide visitors with possibilities that are as endless as the horizons.

 

 

 

 

Six Seat SkyWest Piper Seneca From Original Fleet

SkyWest Celebrates 43 Years!

McKall Morris
Corporate Communications Manager

On this day, 43 years ago, SkyWest Airlines took off on its first scheduled flight – from St. George to Salt Lake City, Utah, with a stop in Cedar City on the way! Since that first flight, what was a small, local airline has grown into one of the largest regional airlines in the country.

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Six-seat Piper Seneca used by SkyWest

Then and Now (10)

Check out even more about SkyWest’s history at www.skywest.com.

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So how exactly is a 43rd anniversary celebrated? According to several lists of modern anniversary gifts, the 43rd year should be celebrated with travel! So join in the celebration, and fly a SkyWest Airlines flight today.