PADUCAH Ky. (KFVS) - SkyWest/United celebrates 10 years in Paducah Ky. at Barkley Regional Airport,
The first United Express flight between Paducah and Chicago left Barkley Regional Airport, on February 11, 2010. Bringing jet service back to Paducah for the first time since the 1970s.
On Feb. 11, current team members, including two that were SkyWest Employees for that first flight celebrated the anniversary with a small reception.
SkyWest Airlines, based in St. George, Utah has operated flights for United Express Airlines on Bombardier CRJ 200 50-seat jets for the last decade.
“We are pleased to celebrate this milestone with SkyWest and United, they have been a strong and important partner with us,” said Airport Executive Director Dennis Rouleau. “They have made it possible for everyone in our region to get anywhere in the world, and back home again, with just one stop. This level of connectivity is something that other communities wish they had and is an important factor in the growth of the region both in the last 10 years and moving forward."
Since 2010, almost 30,000 trips and over 400,000 passengers have traveled between Paducah and Chicago, and the airline has completed 96% of scheduled flights.
A surprising fact that is directly related to the United Express service to Chicago is that roughly 6-8% of annual passenger traffic is international, a market that Paducah had not seen prior to the start of this service in in 2010.
SkyWest was just awarded a new Essential Air Service contract by the Department of Transportation that will see them continuing to serve Barkley Airport for another 3 years, with twice-daily roundtrip flights to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
“We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with SkyWest, we are excited about what lies ahead for Barkley and the region, from the new terminal, to other improvements we are looking at to improve the experience for our passengers, we want to be the airport that everyone chooses to fly out of, no matter the destination,” Rouleau said.