Decatur is excited to welcome SkyWest Airlines in 2020!
On December 12, 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation selected SkyWest Airlines, Inc., branded as United Express (SkyWest), to provide Essential Air Service (EAS) at Decatur, Illinois, for a two-year contract term from February 1, 2020, through January 31, 2022.
SkyWest will provide 12 nonstop round trips per week to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) using 50-passenger Canadair Regional Jet CRJ200 (CRJ200) aircraft.
Decatur Mayor, Julie Moore-Wolfe said, “SkyWest’s service will attract and help retain passengers in the region by offering greater access to the national air transportation network, as well as increase the number of passenger enplanements at Decatur Airport.”
Mr. Chris Harrison, President of the Decatur Park District that owns and manages Decatur Airport, writes: “After a thorough review of airline submissions, formal airline presentations, and engaging public feedback, the Decatur Park Board of Commissioners is recommending SkyWest Airlines…for providing Essential Air Service…” Mr. Harrison also stated that ORD is key to increasing passenger usage and long term success for air service at Decatur.
Congressman Rodney Davis, House Representative of the 13th District, Illinois, expressed strong support for SkyWest’s proposal, writing: “I fully welcome SkyWest’s proposal to provide highspeed jet access and air services from the Decatur community to Chicago (ORD). These proposed flights out of Decatur will add to our region’s continued economic growth.”
Ms. Miranda Rothrock, President of the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce submitted a letter to the Department that echoed Congressman Davis’ sentiments that SkyWest’s proposal would provide economic benefits to the Decatur region. Ms. Rothrock writes: “The SkyWest service will help attract and retain staff and customers in our community by offering greater access to the air travel network and a higher net number of enplanements. Existing businesses in Macon County will benefit while making it easier to recruit new ones through these offered air services.”
The Department expects Cape Air and SkyWest to work together to make a smooth transition at Decatur, with no service hiatus. Before Cape Air suspends service, the Department expects the carrier to notify all passengers holding reservations for travel after the suspension date, to assist those passengers in making alternate air transportation arrangements, or to provide a full refund of the ticket price, without penalty, if requested.
If SkyWest is unable to start service on February 1, 2020, Cape Air is required to serve Decatur with its current service pattern until SkyWest begins full EAS at the community.
Note: If passengers have a Cape Air ticket booked for March 5, 2020 or beyond it will be refunded by Cape Air starting on or around December 28, 2019. At that point you are able to then purchase a new ticket on www.united.com.