New routes might be in Skybus’ near future
Service to Philadelphia, Niagara Falls in works
Saturday, January 5, 2008 2:57 AM
By Marla Matzer Rose
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Flying to Philadelphia and Niagara Falls from Port Columbus soon may become less expensive.
Skybus Airlines reportedly is about to announce service to those markets, as well as a flight between its new hub in Greensboro, N.C., and the Chicago suburb of Gary, Ind.
These new destinations surfaced this week on air-service Web site www.theairdb.com. Skybus is expected to announce new routes this month and will have aircraft available for shorter flights in early March when it cuts its daily flight between Columbus and San Diego.
Skybus would confirm only that there have been discussions about starting the flights. “We have nothing to announce at this time,” said Bob Tenenbaum, a Skybus spokesman.
The expected service to the Philadelphia area would come by way of Wilmington, Del., about a half-hour away.
“I have no formal agreement with them, but we have been talking” to Skybus, said Steve D. Williams, director of operations for the New Castle Airport there. The airport has had no commercial service since September, when Delta pulled its twice-daily regional jet flight to its Atlanta hub.
A Niagara Falls, N.Y., flight would allow Skybus to serve Buffalo, 21 miles away, and Toronto, 80 miles away. There is no direct service from Columbus to Buffalo, although Air Canada Jazz operates three daily regional jet flights between Columbus and Toronto.
Columbus travelers have numerous options to fly to Chicago, with Southwest, American and United all operating multiple flights there per day. Greensboro has much less service to that destination and offers Skybus more opportunity on that route.
The Gary-Chicago International Airport, which is without commercial service now, is about 32 miles from downtown Chicago. Chris Curry, director of the airport, did not return a call yesterday, but in October, he told The Dispatch that flying into Gary could save an airline half the cost of operating in Chicago itself.