Low-fare Airline Debuts at Pease

PORTSMOUTH -- No-frills air carrier Skybus initiates daily flights today from Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth to and through Columbus, Ohio, with two daily departures and two arrivals.

Skybus is now the only commercial carrier operating daily from the former Air Force base. All Skybus flights operate to and through Columbus, the company's only hub at this time. Other cities on the Skybus schedule include Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Richmond, and Kansas City.

Started in 2005, Skybus says it is striving to make things simple and affordable. Using experienced pilots and new Airbus A 319 jets, each with 150-plus leather seats, the airline operates out of secondary, less-congested airports and offers low fares by stripping out all the "extras." With air fares starting at just $10 per flight segment (plus taxes and fees), everything else is a la carte. Luggage is $5 per bag for the first two bags and $50 per additional bag. Food and beverages are for sale -- food from outside sources if prohibited. There is no on-board entertainment. There are no reservation phone lines -- everything is transacted through the Internet at .

The ariline strongly recommends arriving at the terminal at least 30 minutes before departure. At that point, the ticketing agent becomes the gate agent and there won't be anyone in the lobby to check you in. It's all open seating, but you can move to the head of the line for an additional $10. All tickets are non-refundable but can be changed for a $40 fee. These $10 fares will always be offered, according to Skybus CEO Bill Diffenderffer.

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