Big Sky AirlinesThe owner of Big Sky Airlines is Big Sky Transportation, which is wholly owned by MAIR Holdings. Big Sky Airlines flies scheduled commuter passenger flights to 18 cities and has a hub (of sorts) at Billings Logan International Airport where most of its non-stop routes commence. The airline has the critical job of being the primary, and sometimes only, commercial air carrier to several small airports in the state of Montana.
Big Sky Airlines was founded in 1978 and began operations in September of the same year. There were plans for Big Sky Airways to take over Essential Air Service routes to Aspen Mountain Air in October 1998 after Aspen’s bankruptcy, and the transfer of services was completed in December 1998.
Beginning in 3arly 2005, several announcements about Big Sky Airlines surfaced, beginning with Big Sky Airlines announcing some changes to its service such as ending service to North Dakota and replacing its Metro fleet with Beechcraft 1900Ds on lease from Mesa Air Group, a subsidiary of Air Midwest. In July 2006, Big Sky Airlines made the announcement that service to Great Falls Montana, Kalispell, Montana, and Spokane, Washington would end. In September 2006 Big Sky Airline stopped flights going to Moses Lake, Washington. In January 2007, Big Sky Airlines made the decision to pull out of the Pocatello due to a lack of ridership. Airport personnel blame it on Big Sky’s manual reservation system, but whatever the reason may be, it is clearly not financially feasible for Big Sky to remain. Presently, Big Sky Airlines provides service to twenty destinations throughout the United States.
Reservations can be made online with no delivery fee for an electronic ticket. Like many commercial airlines, Big Sky Airlines has ceased paying commissions to travel agents. This practice ultimately passes the savings on to the passengers, who book more flights online now than with travel agents. Eliminating commissions to travel agents and eliminating services that are not financially profitable are some of the way Big Sky is cutting costs in order to keep fares competitive for the customers. While some loss of customers may be seen in the initial stage of moving operations to a more profitable hub location, the effects will be short-lived.