GREENBRIER COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — Five months ago, SkyWest airlines informed the Greenbrier Valley Airport of their plans to leave their airport, as well as 29 other markets.

This, a result of the ongoing pilot shortage and the impact it has on the industry.

“The pilot issue that has devastated the aviation community across the country, when you see the media reporting on airline cancellations every day, that has got to do with the pilot shortage,” said Brain Belcher, the airport director at Greenbrier Valley Airport.

SkyWest, a regional airline, worked with United Airlines to bring flights through the area. But with a lack of pilots, those who wanted to fly into the Greenbrier Valley Airport had to share a plane with those on the way to the Shenandoah Valley Aiport and make an unnecessary stop.

Once SkyWest felt they could no longer provide this service, the department of transportation placed the service of the Greenbrier Valley Airport open for bid in May of 2021. Offers came from Contour airlines, Southern Airlines, Boutique Air, and one more.

At the same time SkyWest, had a change of heart, wanting to once again work with the airport.

The board had the option to continue the SkyWest contract or consider another airline, After they looked into every situation they made the decision to recommend Contour airlines for their service.

“We have vetted them we have talked to other airports they serve they are on time they are reliable and so i think that all goes into what our board voted,” said Belcher.

Belcher said while a lot of factors played a part in their decision, it came down to the confidence Contour showed, and the efficiency they could provide to the area.

“With contour, we won’t be sharing an airplane with any other city it will just be us and charlotte which will give us more seats available,” said Belcher.