Silver Airways (3M, Fort Lauderdale Int'l) is set to launch scheduled flights from Houston Intc'l to Victoria, TX on November 1, 2018, replacing Texas Sky (4P, Victoria, TX) as the Essential Air Service (EAS) provider at the airport, the Victoria Advocate has reported.

The carrier's proposal to operate 12x weekly service to Houston with ATR42-600 equipment has been endorsed by the airport's board but still needs to be confirmed by the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The carrier has asked for an annual USD4.95 million subsidy to operate the route under a two-year contract.

Silver Airways has interline and code-share agreements in place with multiple carriers serving Houston, including United Airlines, which holds a 76.7% market share by capacity at the Texan gateway.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, Silver Airways currently operates twenty Saab 340B(Plus)es. Its maiden Avions de Transport RĂ©gional turboprop, N400SV (msn 1214) was positioned to Orlando Int'l on delivery from Toulouse Blagnac on April 16, 2018, but is yet to be deployed into revenue service, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows.

Texas Sky, a local division of PublicCharters (4P, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton), currently offers 6x weekly service to Dallas/Fort Worth using a Jetstream 32 operated by Contour Aviation. The contract with the airline is set to expire at the end of October 2018.

In May 2018, the DOT tentatively terminated EAS eligibility at Victoria, TX, due to low passengers numbers and a too high per passenger subsidy rate exceeding the federally prescribed USD200 per passenger cap. However, the county authorities have later successfully petitioned for a waiver, arguing that with a new EAS provider offering better schedule and interline opportunities, the airport would see more enplanements.