Skybus Gets Off Ground in May with Ryanair-like Pricing

Operating from uncongested airports to keep the carrier's costs down, Skybus will contract out its maintenance, ground handling and most other positions. Beyond the airline's small management team, about the only employees will be the pilots and flight...

Skybus will lease its first eight Airbus A319s but last fall agreed to acquire another 65 directly from Airbus. The first of those planes will arrive in 2008, with deliveries stretched out over five years.

Diffenderffer says that while Columbus will remain the company's headquarters, it expects to expand into other markets where fares are high and non-stop competition on large commercial jets is minimal.

On Skybus' first seven routes, only Columbus-Los Angeles has a non-stop competitor aboard similar planes. All other competitive flights are either aboard smaller regional jets or via connections at another carrier's hub.

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