Skywest Airlines has been chosen by the City of Watertown to continue providing essential air service at the Watertown Regional Airport. The Airport Board met last week and heard proposals from three airlines looking to fill that role. They unanimously recommended Skywest Airlines to the council. The bids received by the city were from Boutique Air, Key Lime Airlines and Skywest, the city’s current airline provider.
Daniel Belmont of Skywest said the bidding process has become competitive and the current status of the pandemic has created bids that are a little different than normal….
Airport Manager Todd Syhre said that the contract with Skywest would mirror the current routes with one trip to Denver and Chicago daily with a single flight to Denver on Tuesday and Saturday’s. The trips would be on Skywest’s 50-seat jet. Syhre said although the other airlines came in with lower bids compared to Skywest’s $3.6M bid, the real determining factor for the DOT is dependability of the airline….
Councilman Glen Vilhauer asked Belmont if there was a chance of adding a Watertown to Minneapolis flight to their routes. Belmont said that would be something they would consider in the future....
In the end, the council voted to accept the airport board’s recommendation to keep Skywest as the city’s essential air carrier. The request now goes to the United States Department of Transportation for final approval. If approved the three year contract would begin on May 1st, 2021.