UPDATE: SkyWest prohibited from suspending service while replacement sought

(ABC 6 News) – UPDATE: The United States Department of Transportation ordered Friday that SkyWest must continue to provide service while a replacement carrier is sought.

Documents issued by the DOT said "By this Order, the U.S. Department of Transportation (the Department) is: (1) prohibiting SkyWest Airlines, Inc. (SkyWest) from terminating its Essential Air Service (EAS) at all 29 communities listed in the caption above, and requiring that it continue the level of service required under the series of orders listed below until the conclusion of this EAS selection case, and (2) requesting proposals from air carriers interested in providing EAS at any or all 29 communities beginning within 60 to 90 days of the Department’s issuance of an air carrier selection order, with or without subsidy. Air carriers should file proposals no later than April 11, 2022."

In a virtual meeting between SkyWest and the Department, SkyWest indicated it would work with the Department during the termination process and replacement carrier proceeding

SkyWest announced it is discontinuing service to nearly 30 airports including Mason City.

SkyWest provided 90 days’ notice to the United States Department of Transportation citing the ongoing pilot staffing shortages.

"The Mason City Municipal Airport is disappointed with the news that SkyWest has filed notice to end service due to an ongoing pilot staffing imbalance across the aviation industry."

Airport Manager David Sims said, “We will be working closely with SkyWest and the DOT in the coming months to help ensure a smooth transition for customers.”

Customers should be aware there will be no immediate changes to flight schedules as a replacement carrier is sought.

SkyWest began a three-year contract to serve in Mason City on March 1, 2021.