SkyWest to part ways with Midwest Airlines, end service


NEW YORK — SkyWest Inc. said Wednesday it will stop operating regional service for Midwest Airlines, after the St. George, Utah-based carrier said financial troubles at Midwest were dragging down its bottom line.

The pair said they have reached a mutual agreement to end their airline services agreement. Under the deal, SkyWest agreed to cancel the unsecured note from Midwest of about $9.3 million in exchange for a $4 million payment.

The payment is expected to be paid in increments of $400,000 for each aircraft SkyWest takes back from Midwest.

SkyWest currently has 12 remaining regional jets in service for Milwaukee-based Midwest. The first is expected to be removed from service at Midwest this month; the last three are expected to be taken back in January 2010.

SkyWest said it is looking to place those planes back in service, possibly through deals with other carriers.

The company operates SkyWest Airlines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines and runs flights under the United Express and Delta Connection names.

Last year, Midwest was hit hard by soaring fuel prices and the economic recession. In July 2008, it announced it was cutting service by about 30 to 40 percent to save cash and 1,200 jobs – about 40 percent of its then 3,000-plus work force.