Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Making Sense of the Skybus Route Changes

Clearly, the management team at Skybus is being realistic about the experiment that is Skybus. A ton of great people have put their money on the line (at least $160 million dollars of start up capital was raised, not to mention the tax breaks the airline has received across the country), and they are going to want to see a quick return on their investment.

The biggest changes for Columbus-

The Chattanooga flight is being dropped as of April 15. I guess I won't make it to the Tennessee Aquarium after all.

Niagra falls isn't in the mix- yet. The Niagra Gazette is saying that Skybus is merely delaying flights from CMH to this western New York location, but this may be wishful thinking. Service was to begin April 1st.

Also, the planned second daily flight from CMH to Milwaukee, scheduled to begin April 1st, will also be scrapped

And, a total of five flights a day are being eliminated from North Carolina's Piedmont's Triad airport that services the Greensboro area.

Beginning April 15, Skybus will stop serving New Orleans (really Gulfport-Biloxi), and in addition, only one flight per day will be offered to Stewart (NY), Wilmington (DE), Punta Gorda (FL), and Gary (IN). Gary service just started, so they really haven't even given that route a chance.

What Skybus does know is that people love flying to Florida. The planes that are removed from these routes will be now utilized to fly folks from Chicopee Massachusetts to both St. Augustine, and Punta Gorda, Florida. I look for those planes to be full once northeasterns realize just how cheaply they can get to the sunshine state. Service begins June 1st.

New service from Stewart (NY) to Portsmouth (NH), will also be added, at least through the summer, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Finally, our friends in Richmond Virginia will be able to fly to St. Augustine beginning June 1. All in all, quite a few changes from our friends at Skybus.

The bottom line? Skybus is showing that its management team is realistic and will do whatever that needs to be done to make the experiment that is Skybus work AND make money.


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