Charlotte on verge of getting airline service; Skybus, famous for airfares as low as $10, is the most likely candidate to offer service from the county airport, experts say

Airport officials say the return of scheduled commercial airline service at the Charlotte County Airport is imminent. But they are keeping the identity of the airline that might be providing the service and the time line of the move close to the...

But Skybus has raised an estimated $233 million in startup capital, which was more than JetBlue Airways and its $130 million in startup cash.

That has put Skybus in a favorable light with its investors, which include Fidelity Investments, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Mutual Capital, Tiger Management and several smaller firms.



Bringing scheduled flights to the Charlotte County Airport would require:

* Elevating airport's FAA certification.

* Adding lighting and signs.

* Adding police and firefighters, plus Transportation Security Administration inspectors and equipment for screening.

A potential provider: Skybus

* An a la carte carrier, its low-cost fares -- as little as $10 on some flights -- only cover the seats. Guaranteed seat placement, baggage check-in, drinks and just about everything else costs extra.

* The A319 jets the airline uses are flying gift shops of sorts, with not only food and drink for sale but also clothing, watches and perfumes. Even toiletries are for sale. Cabin decor includes advertising.

* The airline does business exclusively through its Web site.

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