SkyWest Airlines (OO, Salt Lake City) has been granted new three-year contracts to provide flights to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and Victoria, TX Texas, replacing Boutique Air (4B, San Francisco, CA) at both airports as the selected United States subsidised Essential Air Service (EAS) carrier.

In both cases, Boutique Air's contract, due to expire on October 31, 2020, was extended until such time that SkyWest could commence its service, the US Department of Transportation announced.

SkyWest would receive an annual subsidy of USD3.4 million valid from November 1, 2020, until October 31, 2023, to provide 12 round trips per week from John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport to Chicago O'Hare and/or Washington Dulles, using 50-seater CRJ200s. SkyWest would also provide Victoria with 12 round trips per week from Victoria Regional Airport (VCT) to Houston Intc'l, at an annual subsidy of USD3.2 million.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, SkyWest will start serving Johnstown on December 3, 2020, with 5x weekly flights from Washington; while flights between Victoria and Houston will start on November 10, 2020.

Until SkyWest takes over, Boutique Air would continue to receive its subsidy and would operate its existing schedules to both destinations, the DoT said. The airline had been operating on a two-year contract to both airports. It provided 30 roundtrips per week to Johnstown: 18 non-stop rotations per week to Pittsburgh Int'l; and 12 nonstop rotations per week to Baltimore Thurgood Marshall. It had also provided a total of 21 roundtrips a week to Victoria: 14 nonstop to Houston and seven to Dallas/Fort Worth, using PC-12.

Boutique Air currently operates its Northeast division MRO hub at Johnson. Manager Dan Lose told reporters the airline would likely close the hangar if they lost the EAS contract, resulting in local job losses, according to local news reports.