|Headquarters||Perth, Western Australia,Australia|
|Key people||Mark Shelton (CEO)|
Hugh Davin (M. Director Charter)
Jeff Chatfield (Executive Chairman)
Skywest Airlines Pty Ltd (ASX: SXR, LSE: SKYW) is a regional airline company based in Perth, Western Australia, Australia; servicing key towns in the state of Western Australia, Darwin, Northern Territory and Melbourne, Victoria; as well as charter flights to Bali, Indonesia.
Skywest began service in 1963 as Carnarvon Air Taxis flying charter flights with small general aviation aircraft out of Carnarvon, Western Australia. In 1979 it changed its name to Skywest Aviation and had moved to Perth's Jandakot Airport. In 1980 Skywest Airlines was formed, based at Perth Airport, and acquired Stillwell Airlines and its routes; the combined fleet included 39 aircraft, making it the second largest commuter airline in Australia at the time. The Skywest Airlines/Aviation fleet included a mix of general aviation types and small airliners including GAF N-24 Nomads, Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirantes, Beechcraft King Air 200s & Fairchild SA-227 Metro IIIs, as well as smaller types such as Cessna 182s and Piper Aztecs.
In 1982, the controlling companies merged Skywest Airlines with TransWest airlines. At the time Skywest operated 16 aircraft and TransWest 25.
Then in 1983 Skywest proposed to merge with East-West Airlines, who were both owned at the time by the Devereaux group. The merger did not eventuate, but East-West operated flights in WA on Skywest's behalf. In 1987 Skywest lost the Government Coastwatch contract (currently held by National Jet) which severely weakened the business. The company was bought out by the Perron group and then on-sold shortly thereafter to TNT/News Ltd and began operating under the Ansett banner. The East-West aircraft were divested for operations in Queensland and were later absorbed into Ansett. At this time, Skywest was operating most of its services with five BAe Jetstream 31s.
In1998, Ansett introduced Fokker 50s into Skywest service. The airline continued to be owned by Ansett Australia, and operated flights on behalf of Ansett until the parent's demise in 2002. Skywest was then successfully purchased by private investors. In 2004 it was the subject of a hostile takeover attempt by Singapore-based investment company CaptiveVision Capital Ltd, which succeeded in gaining a majority stake. On 8 February 2007, news broke that the airline may be the target of a tie-up with Singapore-based Tiger Airways, although no business arrangements were ever concluded. Skywest Airlines Pty. Ltd. is now a 100%-owned subsidiary of Singapore-incorporated and ASX and London Stock Exchange AIM market-quoted Skywest Airlines Ltd.
Skywest's first Airbus A320 was registered in April 2010. It was delivered to the Perth operating base on 23 October 2010 and from November will operate charter services between Perth and Cloudbreak for Fortescue Metals Group.
On 10 January 2011, it was announced that Virgin Blue has announced a 10-year alliance that will see Skywest Airlines operate up to 18 turboprops in the bigger carrier's colours. The alliance with the Perth-based airline is part of new push by Virgin Blue into regional Australia. The agreement will see the airlines codeshare on some of each other's flights and follows a Virgin move to sell smaller Embraer jets used on regional flights. Virgin Blue and Skywest customers will also continue to be able to earn and redeem frequent flyer points on each other's networks. Skywest will lease the new planes from Aviation PLC with the first four planes scheduled to arrive in 2011.
As of June 2010 the Skywest fleet consists of:
8 Fokker 50
9 Fokker 100
2 Airbus A320
Skywest's fleet is used for scheduled services in the WA Coastal network as well as a range of charter services supporting the resources industry. All Skywest aircraft are equipped with an all-economy layout and most with hot galleys. Skywest offers a standard 33-inch seat pitch for the Fokker 50s and 34" pitch for Fokker 100s, giving equivalent legroom to 'Premium Economy' seats offered by other airlines, though due to airframe differences, some aircraft are unable to attain this pitch on all seats.
As of June 2010, Skywest Airlines operates scheduled domestic flights to the following destinations:
Darwin (Darwin International Airport)
Melbourne (Melbourne Airport)
Albany (Albany Airport)
Broome (Broome International Airport)
Carnarvon (Carnarvon Airport)
Esperance (Esperance Airport)
Exmouth (Learmonth Airport)
Geraldton (Geraldton Airport)
Kalbarri (Kalbarri Airport)
Kalgoorlie (Kalgoorlie-Boulder Airport)
Karratha (Karratha Airport)
Kununurra (Kununurra Airport)
Monkey Mia (Shark Bay Airport)
Newman (Newman Airport)
Paraburdoo (Paraburdoo Airport)
Perth (Perth Airport) Main Hub
Port Hedland (Port Hedland International Airport)
Skywest will start a weekly Geraldton to Melbourne via Kalgoorlie service using F100 aircraft.
Skywest Airlines operates scheduled international flights to the following destinations:
Denpasar (Ngurah Rai International Airport) (IATA: DPS, ICAO: WADD), located in southern Bali, currently serviced from Port Headland
Skywest have applied for Broome to Singapore route using the Airbus A320 and more flights will be considered from the Pilbara to the East Coast of Australia.
In addition to scheduled flights, Skywest has contracts with various mining companies to service the burgeoning Western Australian mining industry; via regular fly-in fly-out air charter flights to remote minesites. These contracts include flights between:
Perth and West Angelas mine
Perth and Barimunya
Perth to Brockman 4 mine
Geraldton and Paraburdoo via Brockman
Perth and Argyle
Perth and Fortescue Dave Forrest (Cloud Break mine) for Fortescue Metals
Perth and Windarling on behalf of Portman Iron Ore
Perth and The Granites minesite in the Tanami Desert on behalf of Newmont Tanami
Perth and Ravensthorpe Nickel Mine with First Quantam Minerals.
Skywest previously held a contract to fly staff to Telfer, however in December 2010 this contract was terminated in favour of a contract with Alliance Airlines.
Commencing in 2004, Island Bound Holidays chartered a Skywest Fokker 100 to undertake flights to Bali from Port Hedland. In 2010 Skywest commenced operation of scheduled services to Bali from Port Headland. Skywest operates scheduled flights from Perth to Melbourne Airport via Kalgoorlie.
From 1 November 2007, Skywest joined Virgin Blue's loyalty program Velocity Rewards. Passengers can now earn points on qualifying Skywest flights. Velocity Points can be earned on all Skywest flights, excluding charter flights. Points awarded vary from .5 per mile to one per mile, depending on fare class.
Skywest and Virgin Blue are codesharing partners. Velocity Rewards members can also earn points on Skywest flights.