May 5th, 2015
SkyWest has ended Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia turboprop service. The last flight was SkyWest flight 5165 (SKW5165) from the Santa Maria Pub Airport, Santa Maria, CA (ICAO: KSMX) to Los Angeles International Airport (ICAO: KLAX) on May 5th, 2015. The duration of the flight was 37 minutes, with takeoff at 08:38 PM PDT and landing at 09:15 PM PDT. The aircraft that operated the last flight was N567SW, Serial Number 120342. This EMB 120 is actually owned by JAHN 567SW LLC, which seems to be linked to Jetstream Aviation Capital, a turboprop leasing company. The last EMB 120 flight for SkyWest was operated for United Airlines, under the United Express brand. SkyWest Airlines had been planning for years to phase out and retire the EMB 120 from its fleet. Some small airports, which include several US west coast airports, have lost service due SkyWest retiring the 30 seat EMB 120 turboprops. Some persons are reporting that SkyWest made a small poster entitled "Later 'Bro" to commemorate the retirement, however it is unknown if the airline had a special event for the aircraft's last day. SkyWest has been operating the aircraft since 1986, which gives the turboprop approximately 29 years of service with the regional airline. In November 2014, SkyWest, Inc, the holding company of SkyWest Airlines, reported they would end all Embraer EMB 120 flying in 2015. At the end of 2014, they also reported that they have taken a $57 million dollar charge due the planned retirement of the EMB 120. At the end of 2014 the company owned 18 EMB 120s and was leasing 25 of them, giving them a total of 43 EMB 120s. All 43 of the turboprops have now reached the end of their service with SkyWest. SkyWest was the largest operator of the EMB 120 in the United States. One of the last remaining operators (passenger service) of the EMB 120 in the United States is Great Lakes Aviation.
Thanks to the Embraer EMB 120 and crew for the long run with SkyWest.
Also thanks to this airliners.net forum post for some background on the event.