SkyWest Airlines set to cancel services in Chico

Aiport employees fearing of losing jobs

CHICO, Calif. - Travelers are disappointed that SkyWest Airlines will stop flying out of the Chico Airport in December.

City officials said they've been told by SkyWest that flights between Chico and San Francisco are not profitable.

"You just take a quick drive from my house and you're here and everyone is so nice," said Chico frequent flyer, Lorena Reed.

"We can come right into Chico be picked up and be local; it's been very nice. I'm going to be very disappointed when it leaves," said Dorene Brogquist who was flying to Virginia.

The City of Chico has been working for months to encourage more people to start using the airport rather than driving an hour-and-a-half to Sacramento.

Chico City Manager Mark Orme said the news came as a shock when SkyWest said they were canceling the only commercial air service in Chico.

SkyWest contracts with United Airlines as United Express out of Chico. Orme believes the airport will remain open.

"We have a number of military jets that touch down there," he said. "We have CAL FIRE and other quality tenants that are still going to make that a viable airport. There are other opportunities that we hope we don't have to do that."

Airport employees are worried they might not have a job at the end of the year. The Transportation Security Administration, along with Hertz Rentals, taxis and Untied Airline employees worry their jobs are in jeopardy by the decision as well.

Taxi drivers said they will see a drop in fares in the short term --but they predict a jump in fares to Redding and Sacramento.

"You can go down the list of a variety of things that the impact will be felt to the TSA agents that are out there down to the FBO, the fuel based operator, who fuels the planes," said Orme. "There will be impacts and we'll be evaluating in the upcoming months."

Orme said the city is currently looking for an airport manager and thinks the experience that comes with the position is needed more than ever.

We tried reaching out to SkyWest Airlines for a comment but they have not returned our calls.

Flights are slated to stop on December 2.

Most Popular

Pictures In the News