December 03, 2007 18:36 ET

Atlantic Southeast Airlines Jet Doubles as Sleigh for Young Fliers' Visit to the "North Pole" at The Dentzel Carousel in Meridian, Miss.

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - December 3, 2007) - Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA), a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ: SKYW), today will fly 24 students from Hendrix Drive Elementary School in Forest Park, Ga., to visit Santa Claus in Meridian, Miss. The students will depart Atlanta aboard a 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 regional jet -- dubbed "Santa's Special Sleigh" -- and return before the end of the school day.

The students were chosen to fly aboard "Santa's Special Sleigh" as a reward for excelling in Hendrix Drive Elementary School's reading program. ASA is a partner with Hendrix Drive Elementary School through Clayton County's "Adopt-A-School" program. This is the fifth year that Santa's Special Sleigh will take flight.

"For many of these children Santa's Special Sleigh is their first opportunity to experience the excitement of flying," said Sam Watts, ASA's vice president of People. "They have worked hard to excel in their school's reading program and ASA is proud to be part of rewarding their accomplishments."

Two hundred students competed for a seat on Santa's Special Sleigh by using Accelerated Reader (AR), a computerized reading program that tests reading comprehension.

According to Symirna Jean-Simon, Hendrix Drive Elementary school's counselor, students rushed through the school's doors on the first day of classes asking if they would be able to go to the "North Pole" this year. "This is a great incentive program that the faculty and students at Hendrix Drive Elementary are very happy to be part of," she said.

After arriving at the Meridian Regional Airport, the students will visit The Dentzel Carousel, where they will have their pictures taken with Santa, enjoy magical rides on the carousel, make holiday crafts and enjoy lunch before departing for home on Santa's Special Sleigh.

About Atlantic Southeast Airlines

ASA, a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest Holdings, Inc., operates more than 800 flights daily to 133 airports in 33 U.S. states, District of Columbia, Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, Canada, Mexico and Turks & Caicos. The airline operates a fleet of 159 aircraft and employs more than 4,300 aviation professionals. Delta Connection offers two daily flights at Meridian Regional Airport. For more information, visit or

About The Dentzel Carousel

The Dentzel Carousel, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, was manufactured in 1896 by Gustav Dentzel of Philadelphia, Penn., for the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. The carousel has been a part of Meridian, Miss. since 1909. Restored in the early 1980s, it is the only surviving two-row, stationary Dentzel Carousel in the world still intact in its original house. The carousel is comprised of 28 lifelike, hand-carved animals including a menagerie of horses, chariots, goats, deer, giraffe and an exotic lion and tiger. For more information, visit or call 601-485-1904.

Contact Information

    Kristen Loughman
    ASA Corporate Communications