New revenue guarantee awaiting City Council approval

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — There’s no question the pilot shortage has had a negative impact on air travel at Magic Valley Regional Airport. Last October, the flight from Twin Falls to Denver was halted, and now the route to Salt Lake is in jeopardy.

“With the shortage of pilots and the difficulty they are having with their resources and routes to smaller communities, they asked if we would consider a revenue guarantee,” said airport manager Bill Carberry.

In this service agreement, SkyWest Airlines, the regional carrier for our Delta flight to Salt Lake, requires the airport to be able to guarantee at least $400,000 in quarterly ticket sales revenue for the flight.

However, if the airport does not generate this revenue, it does not necessarily mean that we lose the flight to Salt Lake.

“If ticket revenue does not cover the cost associated with providing the flight, this agreement would allow us to make a payment so that their revenue equals their costs for that quarter,” Carberry said.

The flight will therefore remain in town, but even then there is still no guarantee. Both parties have the option to withdraw from the agreement, subject to 60 days’ notice.

KMVT asked Carberry how confident he was that SkyWest would stay in the deal.

“I think with the airline operating in good faith, and certainly the city and the county, the premise is that they feel the $400,000 revenue guarantee would be enough insulation if you want it,” a- he declared.

Although the guarantee has not yet been approved, Carberry hopes the city council will vote in favor of it.

“Air service is essential for our community. This provides many economic opportunities,” he said.

As for airport expansion plans down the road? Carberry says they will keep moving forward with them.

“We’re not responding in terms of the airport infrastructure plans or the capital improvement plan and the dollars we get to plan and develop the airport,” Carberry said.

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Sallie R. Loera