On June 19, 1972, SkyWest Airlines’ six-seat aircraft took to the skies for the first official flight to Salt Lake City. At the time, we had three part-time pilots and our fleet consisted of just four aircraft. Forty years later, SkyWest operates more than 1,800 daily flights on 315 aircraft, all thanks to the help of our more than 11,000 aviation professionals.
Tuesday morning, in honor of our accomplishments and to commemorate those humble beginnings, SkyWest employees, leaders and dignitaries gathered outside our first headquarters (the old hangar at the former St. George Airport) to celebrate our history! President and COO, Russel “Chip” Childs, kicked off the event with some opening remarks and was followed by Jerry Atkin, Chairman and CEO who entertained the crowd with a variety of stories about SkyWest’s early struggles and subsequent successes thanks to the people of SkyWest. He also took a few minutes to recognize several key players in our history who helped make 40 years possible. Jerry was followed by Ralph Atkin, founder of SkyWest Airlines. Everyone at the hangar also had a chance to be a part of a historic 40-year photo!
All the speakers had very powerful things to say, but the common message was that the airline was founded on a commitment to quality and hard work. And thanks to the extraordinary people of SkyWest, that dedication has continued to keep us moving forward for 40 years.
Later, SkyWest leaders and dozens of others had an up-close view as Flight 7769 departed from the new St. George Airport, accompanied by a water cannon salute. The salute helped to recognize everything that SkyWest has been able to accomplish in the last 40 years, and serves as a starting point for the success we’ll continue to see in the years to come!