SHD will soon offer direct flights to D.C. and Chicago

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WEYERS CAVE, Va. (WHSV) — UPDATE (Nov. 21):

Starting this coming April, you will be able to take direct flights from the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport to Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

After experiencing problems with ViaAir, the airport decided earlier this year to replace their jet service provider with SkyWest Airlines, which is operated by United.

That decision has now been approved by the Department of Transportation, finalizing the proposal.

The contract comes in about $1 million cheaper for the airport and guarantees at least 12 flights to and from either Washington Dulles Airport or Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

The current ViaAir service, which includes flights to Charlotte and Orlando, will end on March 31, 2018; SkyWest will take over on April 1.

Officials with SHD told WHSV that SkyWest will provide more details about service and times of flights in the next two to three weeks before the end of the year.

If you have any flights scheduled through ViaAir from April 2018 onward, you're encouraged to call the airport as soon as possible.

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Although the meeting looked small and relatively unassuming, the decisions made in a Shenandoah Valley boardroom on September 21 were big.

Now, there is potential that there could be flights straight from the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport to Washington, D.C., or even Chicago.

Thursday morning, the airport commission voted to move forward on a proposal from SkyWest Airlines to replace the current jet service provider: ViaAir.

As WHSV has reported in the past, the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport says they have had many problems with ViaAir, and if SkyWest Airlines — which will be operated under United Airlines — works out, all the problems with ViaAir will be a thing of the past.

"This resolves the issues with Via," said Greg Campbell, the CEO of The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport. "SkyWest has an impeccable record providing reliable service. Being part of the United network, all the issues that we were experiencing with tickets, bags, booking, folks trying to use the service those are resolved."

The proposal would guarantee at least 12 flights to and from either Washington Dulles Airport, or Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

Plus, this proposal came in at about 1 million dollars less than the current contract with ViaAir.

While this will be their recommendation to the Department of Transportation, they say the DOT doesn't have to accept it, but folks here believe that they will.

As for when that decision could come, they say they don't have those numbers quite yet. Campbell previously told WHSV that the process could take weeks.

Via Air was chosen in 2016 to take over the Silver Airways Essential Air Service (EAS) contract in Staunton. Their service provided flights to Charlotte and Orlando.