Big Sky officially ends operations

Washington DC
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Big Sky Airlines ceased remaining operations March 8, the MAIR Holdings subsidiary says in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The airline, which terminated east coast operations for Delta Air Lines in January, nixed essential air service (EAS) in Montana before replacement Great Lakes Aviation was able to take over the routes.

Big Sky had asked the US DOT for an immediate payment of an $8.5 million subsidy due on March 1 so it could maintain the service.

However, the Billings, Montana-based carrier did not receive the subsidy since DOT only gives funding for EAS that has already been provided, a department spokesman says.

Big Sky says it “concluded that it is not feasible to continue operating Big Sky at a loss until another carrier can begin servicing Big Sky’s routes”.

Meanwhile, Great Lakes is “still looking for aircraft” and does not know when it will assume operations to the Montana EAS destinations of Glasgow, Glendive, Havre, Lewistown, Miles City, Sidney and Wolf Point, a Great Lakes spokeswoman says.

Cheyenne, Wyoming-based Great Lakes will take over the routes at subsidy rates totalling $8.2 million annually.

Big Sky will now focus on selling its assets, including seven Beech 1900Ds for roughly $18.9 million, as well as selling $3 million in spare parts.

Flight’s ACAS database shows that Big Sky has 15 Beech 1900Ds.