U.S. Essential Air Service
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The four largest airline participating in Essential Air Service contracts, TOP: Southern Airways Express C208, Cape Air C402 ; BOTTOM. Boutique PC12 , SkyWest CRJ200 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

Essential Air Service: What It Is and Why It's Needed

Every year, people around the country pay their taxes and begin to complain about which government programs are necessary and which are not. And every year the same question comes up: why does the government shell out millions of dollars in federal aid to airlines in order to fly — in some cases empty aircraft — to cities nobody has ever heard of? Because it’s essential. History of EAS Essential Air Service has played an interesting role in this country…

The Proposals for 31 EAS Communities SkyWest is Leaving

SkyWest recently requested the termination of 31 Essential Air Service (EAS) contracts, and the process of refilling those contracts has reached the stage airlines submit proposals to the Department of Transportation, and community and industry members can comment on them. The proposals were originally due on April 11i, but the due date…

Southern Airways Express Expands Again with New Merger

Palm Beach, Fla.-based Southern Airways Express has been growing immensely since its founding in 2013, with its most recent rapid growth being only two months ago in March of 2022 when it acquired Air Choice One. This recent news will be its sixth merger or acquisition as it was announced…

Contour Airlines Adds Service to Two EAS Cities Vacated By…

The U.S. Essential Air Service has seen some strain recently as three airlines — the most recent carrier being Cape Air — requested to terminate at least two of their contracts before they were due to expire. As a result, the government has been forced to look for other operators to…

Cape Air Requests Cancellation of Service to Small Communities

The Essential Air Service - or EAS - communities have been taking a major hit over the past eight months. First Boutique Air requested to terminate Jackson, Tenn. followed by Show Low, Ariz. Altoona, Penn., and Pendleton, Oregon, although the latter three were just so the carrier could get a…

EAS Round Up – Part 6

Essential Air Service (EAS) has been in the news frequently for the past couple of months, and large airports aren’t the only airports that have news to report on. This is a continuation of the series, titled ‘EAS Round up’, and will touch on any news regarding the contracts in…

SkyWest Adds Flights to Two New York EAS Airports

Plattsburgh and Ogdensburg, two airports in northern New York state, have been in aviation news a substantial amount in the past three months. Both are Essential Air Service cities, and in mid-January 2022, SkyWest announced it would be terminating service to these communities in 90 days, a proposal that was swiftly…

United Express Requests Termination of 29 EAS Routes

While the aviation industry is on the rise from the pandemic, pilot shortages are now facing carriers in full stride. But one area is being hit the most: small communities. Back at the beginning of January 2022, United exited 11 small cities all of which were served by small 50-seat…

Interview: Northern New York Communities Reject Replacement Carrier

Ogdensburg and Plattsburgh, two Essential Air Service communities located in northern New York State have been in aviation news a lot recently. It started back in January 2022 when SkyWest, the carrier that holds the current Essential Air Service Contract in the communities, requested to terminate the EAS contract in…

More Metroliner Flights Set to Begin in U.S.

Every AvGeek strives for unique and out-of-the-way experiences. In the United States, these AvGeek trips consist of flights such as Alaska's Milk Run along the Alaskan panhandle, United Airlines' Micronesian Island Hopper from Honolulu to Guam, and others. But perhaps the one most accessible to those on the mainland U.S.…