0404_dnr_svra skywest_3

A SkyWest airliner taxis to the drop-off point at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport shortly after landing from Dulles International Airport. SkyWest will be replaced by Contour Airlines on Nov. 1 as the carrier for SVRA.

The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport on Wednesday announced it has partnered with Contour Airlines and will offer daily jet flights to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina.

The Tennessee-based airline replaces SkyWest, which announced it was pulling its services from the Weyers Cave airport in March due to a pilot shortage.

Contour Airlines will begin services Nov. 1. SkyWest flights will still be operating to Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles through Oct. 30, according to Heather Ream, spokesperson for SVRA.

“It’ll be a smooth transition,” Ream said.

Ream said multiple factors were taken into consideration when requesting the U.S. Department of Transportation select Contour Airlines as its carrier, including its connectivity, major airline affiliation and passenger experience.

“They have an excellent reputation for on-time availability and customer service,” Ream said.

Charlotte is a “major gateway,” Ream said, and its hub can reach almost anywhere without a single connection. Contour also has an agreement with American Airlines, where passengers can purchase combined tickets on both airlines under a single itinerary.

Contour officials said in a press release that the service would include 12 round-trip flights per week, and operate a 30-seat Embraer ERJ-135 jet aircraft between Weyers Cave and Charlotte.

The airport is one of seven that Contour is expanding to. Once all routes are active, Contour will serve 26 markets nationwide.

“Contour is excited to bring reliable jet service to Shenandoah Valley Airport, where travelers will appreciate low fares and worldwide connectivity through our relationship with American Airlines. We thank the Valley community and the U.S. Department of Transportation for selecting Contour, and we look forward to being the air carrier of choice in this market for many years to come,” Contour CEO Matt Chaifetz said in a statement.

Ream said SVRA’s contract with Contour is for three years and $5.4 million.

She said Contour is offering a special introductory fare of $49 each way to Charlotte for tickets purchased by Oct. 31.

Contact Kellen Stepler at 574-6279 or kstepler@dnronline.com | Follow Kellen on Twitter at @KellenStepler

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