Back during my stint at Phoenix-based regional carrier Mesa Air Group, we were always being inundated with presentations on why cities wanted our service, along with invitations to come to their communities. One visit stood out to me — the shindig thrown by South Dakota’s Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD). At that time the city was the home of Gateway Computers, along with other local businesses.
The city was wooing Mesa to offer service to Denver via Frontier JetExpress or Phoenix via America West Express. So a group of us, including several VPs and schedulers, went to the city for what we thought was going to be a small gathering. When we arrived, the mayor and the airport director were there to give us a tour of the facility, outlining what they could do for us. Then we were whisked away to a lunch that turned out to be 300 of the city’s movers and shakers, all there to convince us that not only did they want our service, they were ready to do whatever it took to keep it.
I write all this to say I had a feeling of deja vu when I read this article on the KCAUTV.com website on how SkyWest Airlines and American Eagle were duking it out to offer two daily Essential Air Service (EAS) flights out of Sioux Gateway Airport (SUX) to either Minneapolis or Chicago O’Hare, respectively. Eagle currently has the service, but has been chided by the city over reliability issues.
But I guess they weren’t bad enough, because the city chose American Eagle again to offer two flights a day to O’Hare, reports FOX 44. The recommendation now goes to the Dept. of Transportation for review.