28 March, 2018

Great Lakes Airlines Ends Operations

Great Lakes Airlines, a regional airline, operating domestic scheduled and charter services, announced today that it has discontinued its scheduled passenger flight operations.

After 40 years of servicing regional airports in the Midwestern and Western regions of the United States, Great Lakes Airlines has begun implementing employee layoffs.

The airline, which owns a fleet of aircraft, comprised of 28 Beechcraft 1900Ds and six Embraer 120 Brasilias, hopes to sell its remaining assets to interested parties. Critical staff members needed to support the scheduled airline certificate, repair station certificate, reservation platform and maintain the fleet will be kept onboard until the airline's assets can be sold.

On August 1st of 2015 a change in Flight Officer Qualifications (FOQ), requiring first officers to possess Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certifications and an associated increase in the number of flight experience hours necessary for newly hired pilots, significantly reduced the number of qualified pilots available for smaller airlines. This change caused Great Lakes Airlines, for the past five years, to suspend flights to small cities in the Upper Midwest and Western Regions of the U.S. as a result of its inability to employ pilots.

The last flight departed on Monday evening, March 26, 2018. All customers who have purchased tickets for flights departing after that date will receive full refunds.

Founded in 1977 by Doug Voss and Ivan Simpson in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Great Lakes Airlines is a regional airline operating domestic scheduled and charter services. The airline's corporate headquarters are located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with a hub at Denver International Airport.