City Officials and community leaders continue efforts to restore air service to the Klamath Basin. On Wednesday, September 19th, a group from Klamath met with representatives from SkyWest Airlines, based in St. George, Utah. The meeting was initiated and facilitated by Mead & Hunt, an aviation consulting group with experience in the Pacific Northwest’s aviation sector.
The Klamath team previously met with SkyWest at their headquarters in September 2017 and at the Mead & Hunt Air Service Development Conference in March 2018. This meeting continued discussions with SkyWest for potential nonstop service to San Francisco. Local representatives reinforced the difficulties of traveling to Medford, particularly in the winter, as well as the need for a passenger air carrier to service both inbound and outbound business and leisure travelers. SkyWest indicated that they are continuing to assess the market for potential service in summer 2019.
Community representatives remain cautiously optimistic about Klamath’s chances of landing a new airline in 2019:
John Barsalou, Director of the Crater Lake – Klamath Regional Airport said: “The support received from the County Commissioners, City Council, Sky Lakes, and other community partners allowed us to attend armed with necessary resources to address an airline’s start-up concerns. While restoring air service to the community will be challenging, we remain optimistic and the support we are receiving is encouraging!”.
Jim Chadderdon, Executive Director – Discover Klamath Visitor & Convention Bureau said: “At $150M in annual inbound revenues to the Klamath Basin, tourism is a key economic driver. Having passenger air service is critical to our community’s ability to continue expanding our tourism footprint which allows the leisure traveler access to Klamath’s recreational and cultural attractions including Crater Lake, Lava Beds and so much more”.
Paul Stewart, CEO of Sky Lakes Medical Center said: “Passenger air service is vitally important to our local medical community because healthcare workers, suppliers, and others who either provide medical services or support Klamath’s healthcare industry need convenient and timely access to the market”.
Trina Froehlich, Air Service Consulting – Mead & Hunt, Inc. said “Every effort is being pursued to restore air service to the Klamath community. The community is well-represented by the Klamath team and a strong business case has been made to the airlines”.
Press release provided from the City of Klamath Falls.