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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Founded 1963
Hubs Perth Airport
Fleet size 16
Destinations 15 scheduled
Headquarters Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Key people Mark Shelton (CEO)
Hugh Davin (M. Director Charter)
Jeff Chatfield (Executive Chairman)

Skywest Airlines Pty Ltd (ASXSXR, LSE: SKYW) is a regional airline company based in Perth, Western Australia, Australia; servicing key towns in the state of Western Australia and Darwin, Northern Territory; 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.

Skywest Fokker 100 VH-FNY at Busselton Airport 2004
A Skywest Fokker 50 departs Geraldton in 2005
Skywest F50 undergoing maintenance at Skywest Engineering Facility, Perth.

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.

In 1994, 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,[1] 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. [2]


As of February 2010 the Skywest fleet consists of:[3]

Skywest's fleet is utilised for scheduled services in the WA Costal 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" 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.

Five of the Fokker 50s were obtained from Ansett Australia's administrators after its demise, previously being operated by Skywest under the Ansett branding. Two additional Fokker 50s were obtained in 2006 from Denim Air. On 16 November 2009 Skywest purchased an additional F50 from KLM to improve on-time performance and add freight capacity.[4]

In August 2009, Skywest announced that in conjunction with Fokker Services it will install RNP 0.3 Global navigation satellite system (GNSS) capability in its Fokker 100 fleet. Skywest will be the first operator in the world to install this system on this type, and will allow GNSS approaches into remote mining airstrips without other navigational aids installed.[5]

In order to provide additional capacity without requiring additional landing slots at the already congested Perth Airport, it was reported in The West Australian that the airline will be adding Airbus A320s to its fleet in mid-2010.[6]. This claim was later denied in company announcements.[7]


Scheduled flights

As of November 2008, Skywest Airlines operates scheduled domestic flights to the following destinations:[8]

Contract flights

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 Telfer
  • Perth and West Angelas
  • Perth and Barimunya
  • Perth to Brockman 4
  • Geraldton and Paraburdoo via Brockman
  • Perth and Argyle
  • Perth and Fortescue Dave Forrest (Cloud Break) for Fortescue Metals
  • Perth and Windarling on behalf of Portman Iron Ore[9]
  • Perth and The Granites minesite in the Tanami Desert on behalf of Newmont Tanami[10]
A Skywest Fokker 100 parked at Melbourne in 2008

International charters

Since 2004, Island Bound Holidays has chartered a Skywest Fokker 100 to undertake flights to Bali from Port Hedland.[11]

Previously operated

Skywest operated scheduled flights from Perth to Melbourne Airport via Kalgoorlie until November 2008. It is understood from a stock market announcement that this service may be started again in Feb 2010.

Loyalty Program

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 flights to and from Bali and charter flights. Points awarded vary from .5 per mile to one per mile, depending on fare class.[12]


Skywest and Virgin Blue are codesharing partners. Velocity Rewards members can also earn points on Skywest flights.

See also

External links



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