Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Brasilia planes to be retired from SV route

Turboprops served airport for 23 years

Express Staff Writer

An Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia flies over the Wood River Valley. The turboprop airplanes have carried passengers to and from Friedman Memorial Airport for 23 years. Photo by Roland Lane

The 27-seat Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia turboprop planes that have supplied the Sun Valley area with air service to Salt Lake City for the past 23 years will fly their last flights into Friedman Memorial Airport on Sunday, Jan. 5. After that date, the route will be taken over by 65-passenger Bombardier CRJ-700 jets.
    SkyWest Airlines will continue to operate the new fleet of planes for Delta Air Lines, though the jets will have Delta written on them.
    “It’s a significant day that the Brasilia stops flying here,” Friedman Memorial Airport Manager Rick Baird said.
    Baird said he greatly appreciates the many years of service that the planes had provided. He said that since 1990, the Brasilias had flown more than 90,000 round-trip flights between Friedman and Salt Lake City, carrying a total of more than 900,000 passengers.
    “SkyWest has been an incredible partner with the community,” he said.
    Baird said the Brasilia planes replaced the 19-seat Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner turboprop plane in 1990.
    “The Metroliner at that time was like the Brasilia is now—still a functional aircraft but nearing the end of its life expectancy,” he said.
    SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow said the Brasilia planes that have been serving Friedman will continue to be used for flights elsewhere in the airline’s system, which serves 182 airports. She said the pilots who have been flying the Salt Lake City-Sun Valley route will go with the Brasilia planes, and a new group of pilots will be flying the jets.
    SkyWest is also operating United Airlines’ daily roundtrip service between Sun Valley and San Francisco, which was inaugurated Dec. 12.
Greg Moore: gmoore@mtexpress.com

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