Atlantic Southeast Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ: SKYW), today will cut the ribbon on its regional jet maintenance facility at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE). CAE is Atlantic Southeast’s primary overnight maintenance base for its regional jet fleet serving United Express, and the airline has invested significantly in refurbishing the existing facility (formerly the Doolittle Hangar) that can accommodate up to three aircraft at a time.
Atlantic Southeast brought more than 75 jobs to the Columbia area when it began performing overnight maintenance at CAE last year, but it has not had a permanent hangar facility until now. Renovations are scheduled for completion by mid-October 2010.
“Moving into a hangar environment in Columbia is playing a strategic role as Atlantic Southeast continues growing to become the world’s largest operator of regional jets,” said Atlantic Southeast President Brad Holt. “The CAE facility will allow us to maintain a growing fleet that will serve both our Washington (Dulles) and Chicago (O’Hare) hubs. We also are very pleased with the partnerships we have developed with CAE airport officials, and various government and civic agencies that have made opening an overnight maintenance base in Columbia possible,” Holt said.
Columbia Metropolitan Airport Executive Director Dan Mann added, “Atlantic Southeast Airlines has been a great partner with CAE for some time now so I am pleased with this opportunity of growth that relocating to the Doolittle Hangar will support. Our teams have worked together to refurbish this facility, making it possible for us to be one of five key Atlantic Southeast maintenance facilities located around the country.”
South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Joe Taylor said, “Atlantic Southeast’s regional jet maintenance operation at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport has brought employment opportunities over the last year and the company’s decision to establish a permanent facility to house this work is a reminder of South Carolina’s ever-growing aviation industry. Our state has the workforce talent and resources necessary to continue to attract new investment, and we are proud to count Atlantic Southeast Airlines as a member of the state’s business community.”
Lexington County and the Central SC Alliance agreed. “Atlantic Southeast fully embodies the pioneering spirit that we value within our community, and we are proud to see this growth in our aviation corridor,” said Lexington County Council Chairman Jim Kinard.
Central SC Alliance Chairman Jim Apple said, “We are fortunate that Atlantic Southeast has expanded its presence and brought more than 75 jobs to the Columbia area. We are proud to have them in our business community.”
With the Columbia hangar, Atlantic Southeast employs 600 maintenance personnel at five maintenance facilities in five states — a 218,000-square-foot headquarters maintenance base in Atlanta, Ga.; a 39,000-square-foot maintenance base in Baton Rouge, La.; the 356,000-square-foot Columbia base and line maintenance centers in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Washington, D.C.
About Atlantic Southeast Airlines
Atlantic Southeast, a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc., operates more than 900 daily flights using its all-jet fleet to 104 airports in 28 U.S. states, District of Columbia, and Canada. Under the SkyWest, Inc. umbrella, Atlantic Southeast and SkyWest Airlines form the world’s largest regional airline alliance. Founded in 1979, Atlantic Southeast operated solely as a Delta Connection carrier until adding United Express operations in February 2010. The airline operates a fleet of 166 aircraft and employs more than 3,500 aviation professionals across its route system. For more information, visit flyasa.com.