SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) - Next time you book a flight, pay attention to which airline you choose. If it is Delta, United, Alaska, or American Airlines, there is a good chance a Utah-based company is operating the whole thing!
During Sunday night's Utah Success Story, News4Utah's Ali Monsen found out how SkyWest Inc. became an industry-leading workforce.
For longtime SkyWest Airlines Captain Darren Moyes, early-morning take-offs are still the best part of the job.
"There's nothing more beautiful than watching the sun come up from the flight deck," Moyes smiled.
Moyes describes that magical moment when darkness dissipates and you watch, as the world below starts to wake up.
"That flying gets in your blood, and we just love what we do," he said.
Moyes admits, these days flying with most airlines is not the same experience it used to be, but he says there is a reason he has stayed with SkyWest for nearly 30 years and never thought to apply anywhere else.
"It's a small family atmosphere and attitude. We help each other, we help our passengers," Moyes explained.
SkyWest Airlines might be the only large air service provider still operating on good old-fashioned values.
"Our people are very considerate about those that are flying..." said Chip Childs, President/CEO of SkyWest, Inc. "There's something about the culture of Utah that is reflective of the culture we want in our airline."
For 45 years, this homegrown success story has risen above turbulence that took down others in the industry.
"Part of the challenge comes with deregulation in the 80's. [September 11th] was a tremendous challenge," Childs explained.
Childs says keeping the company grounded in its core principals through all of that is why it is now soaring to new heights.
These days, with 600 airplanes making 3,000 departures a day, with the help of their 17,000 employees, SkyWest Inc. And its airline companies are proud to partner with who Childs calls 'the best carriers in the country.'
"Even though we're flying 50 million passengers a year, they're really Delta, United, American, and Alaska's passengers, and we take great care in making sure that we protect their brand with our level of service and our people for the betterment of both business models," he said.
As SkyWest Airlines continues to widen its wingspan, the rest of Utah rises too.
"First of all, they're one of our largest employers... providing jobs to families and making sure they can put food on the table." said Spencer Cox, Lieutenant Governor of Utah.
"They're also important for the economy in another way. When businesses are looking to locate here in Utah, they care about connectivity..." Cox explained. "These guys at SkyWest -- they provide that connectivity."
Connecting passengers throughout North America with excellent service and quality in all they do, there is something special about feeling like family, and that is what keeps SkyWest Airlines in business.
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