September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Skybus Airlines, a budget carrier which says it is modelled on Ryanair, has taken off at Port Columbus International Airport, Ohio. For the uninitiated Columbus, that is the city of, has a population of around 750,000 and is about 450 miles (724km) due west of Philadelphia, with Detroit 200 miles to the north.
The airline gained its final certification last week from the US authorities at more or less the same time as another start-up, Virgin America, was also winning approval.
The Skybus philosophy is simple: basic airline transportation to, where possible, less busy airports, which may or may not offer arrival incentives. At Port Columbus the State, through the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), has teamed with the City of Columbus and the Columbus Regional Airport Authority to support the growth of Skybus Airlines, by providing a $16m (”8m) incentive package to assist in the launch of the airline.
Skybus has raised an estimated $160m in start-up capital, the highest so far for an airline, with finance currently provided by a number of large investors. These include: Fidelity Investments (12.6% ownership), Morgan Stanley (6.4%), Nationwide Mutual Capital (5%), and Tiger Management (4.1%).
Smaller investors include: Huntington Capital Investment Co, Wolfe Enterprises (owner of The Columbus Dispatch), and Battelle Services Co Inc. The airline has 65 Airbus A320 on order, eight of which have been delivered.
The new carrier is initially flying from Columbus to Los Angeles via Bob Hope Airport in Burbank; Kansas City; and the Boston area through Portsmouth International Airport in New Hampshire. Services to Richmond, VA began 23 May; to Bellingham, WA serving the Seattle and Vancouver across the border in British Columbia, Ft Lauderdale, FL and to Greensboro, NC on 29 May; and to the San Francisco Bay area through Oakland International Airport on 12 June.