New airline to begin flights at Muskegon Airport in October

The US Department of Transportation has selected Southern Airways Express LLC to begin providing service at the airport beginning on Oct. 1, 2022.

MUSKEGON, Mich. — In March of 2022, the Muskegon County Airport announced that its sole passenger carrier, SkyWest, was going to suspend its service.

After months of searching for a new provider, the airport is happy to announce that Southern Airways Express LLC will begin providing service as of Oct. 1, 2022. SkyWest is set to suspend service on Friday, Sept. 30.

The new provider is expected to increase the service offered to passengers at the airport.

“Our current levels of service with SkyWest would really translate to one flight a day, throughout the week. And at times that flight may not have been that well timed to connect passengers at the Chicago O’Hare hub to where they needed to go. So, one of our requests to the Department of Transportation was to go out and look for a carrier who was able to provide a more expanded type of service into the Chicago O’Hare International Airport,” said Joel Burgess, Director at Muskegon County Airport.

Southern Airways Express is expected to provide almost six times as many flights out of the airport than SkyWest was offering.

“Southern is proposing 36 flights per week, which is outstanding. What that will equate to is six flights a day, throughout the week, Monday through Friday, and then three flights over the weekend, Saturday and Sunday. Which will really allow customers to connect at all of the major hub banks, or all the major connecting points out of Chicago O’Hare for both United and American Airlines anywhere in their system. So this is a great improvement to our existing level of service,” Burgess added.

Currently, Southern is set to only provide direct flights to and from Chicago O’Hare Airport, but Burgess says that they are always open to additional service providers and charter services.

The ticket rate starts at $54 for a one-way ticket to Chicago O’Hare Airport, which can be used to connect to both United, American and Alaskan Airlines directly when you purchase a ticket through one of those airlines.

“We are excited and proud that the US DOT has placed their trust in Southern to serve as Muskegon County’s hometown airline,” said Southern Chief Commercial Officer, Mark Cestari. “We have a simple and proven formula for success in our Essential Air Service markets reliability, low fares, seamless connections to our interline partners (United, American and Alaska Airlines) and the best community engagement program in the commuter business to partner with our airport managers and local air travel stakeholders to encourage use of the airport and boost passenger enplanements .”

Check flight schedules, pricing, parking information and more here.

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