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New revenue guarantee pending city council approval

While the guarantee hasn’t been approved yet, Carberry is hopeful that City Council will vote in favor of it
The pilot shortage has had negative effects on air travel for the Magic Valley Regional...
The pilot shortage has had negative effects on air travel for the Magic Valley Regional Airport. (KMVT/Garrett Hottle file photo. Nov. 25, 2019)(KMVT)
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 3:32 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — There’s no question the pilot shortage has had a bad impact on air travel at Magic Valley Regional Airport. Last October, the flight from Twin Falls to Denver, was discontinued, and now the route to Salt Lake is at risk.

“With the pilot shortage and the difficulty they have with their resources and their routes to small 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, is asking the airport to be able to guarantee at least $400,000 in quarterly ticket sale revenue for the flight.

However, if the airport doesn’t meet this revenue, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’re losing the flight to Salt Lake.

“If the revenue from tickets doesn’t meet the cost associated with providing the flight, that the agreement would allow for us to make a payment so that their revenues equal out with their costs for that quarter,” Carberry said.

So the flight will remain in town, but even then there are still no guarantees. Both parties have an option to pull out of the agreement, given a 60-day notice.

KMVT asked Carberry how confident he is that SkyWest will remain in the agreement.

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

While the guarantee hasn’t been approved yet, Carberry is hopeful that City Council will vote in favor of it.

“Air service is critical to our community. It allows for a lot of economic opportunity,” he said

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

“We’re not reacting as far as airport infrastructure plans or the capital improvement plan and the dollars we get to plan and develop the airport,” said Carberry.

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