PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The federal Transportation Department has chosen SkyWest to provide federally subsidized commercial air service to Pierre and Watertown.

SkyWest will provide six weekly direct round-trip flights between Pierre and Denver and six weekly round-trip flights to Denver that will be shared with Watertown.

The service is to begin in April. It will be under the Essential Air Service program, which subsidizes airline flights to dozens of communities across the county that otherwise would have no air service.

The announcement comes less than a month after California Pacific Airlines stopped service to the two cities.

SkyWest will operate under the United Express brand using 50-seat jets.

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