Skybus Shutdown Completes This Week’s Hat Trick

Seriously, this is getting ridiculous. Monday it’s Aloha, Thursday it’s ATA, and now Saturday it’s Skybus. The airline flew its final flight last night, and now all the shiny new Airbii (um, let’s just pretend like that’s the plural of Airbus) are grounded. I think I speak for everyone who follows this industry when I say, “holy crap.”

Wheel of Fortune BankruptIt’s not the fact that these particular airlines went out of business that leaves me in shock. I mean, they were all sort of knocking on death’s door anyway. It’s the fact that ANY airline actually went out of business, let alone three of them. I mean, this is the kind of stuff that probably would have happened on a much larger scale earlier this decade had the government not stepped in, but they did. Now the industry is finally going to rationalize . . . I hope.

For travelers, this Skybus shutdown is a little better than the others. Skybus isn’t filing for bankruptcy until Monday, and if you believe USA Today, everyone who held tickets will be “eligible for a full refund.” Aloha and ATA travelers (including a few friends of mine) should only be so lucky.

This one also feels different for me personally. Though I have fond memories of ATA and Aloha from past travels, I never got the chance to fly Skybus. Heck, they didn’t even make it a full year. That being said, I’m not completely untouched by this one. Two of my friends work, er, worked at the airline. There are a lot of people out of work after these three shutdowns, and that’s a very sad thing.

So now Skybus is gone, probably doomed from trying to fly to too many secondary airports in mid-sized metro areas. I still think there’s potential for Gary (outside Chicago) to work one day, but they barely even touched that airport. Columbus just didn’t seem like the right place, let alone Greensboro. So, they’re gone. Who’s next?

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61 Responses to Skybus Shutdown Completes This Week’s Hat Trick

  1. flysoften says:

    I understand that if they do restart Skybus, it will have to be Columbus where it starts because that is what is stated in airline certificate approved by the FAA. It is also my understanding the original cities were selected based on studies by the Back group. These cities were very popular with Skybus customers. The cities later selected by Diffenderfer were not based on computer studies but were made based on the whim of the former CEO Diffenderfer who will likely go down as the worst CEO of an airline in US History. The really sad part is the failure of Skybus could have been averted if the board had not elected to push the founder out in favor of Diffenderfer who had absolutely no airline operations experience. And, from the reports now coming in from the former SKybus employees, he had no rapport with the employees either. The pilots had voted 80% in favor of bringing in the teamsters union in less than one year of operations. This is unbelievable.

    I am also hearing stories the board was warned of Diffenderfer’s huge mistakes early by the founder and later by employee or manager after manager who quit rather than work for the incompetent Diffenderfer.

    I hope the founder can resurrect Skybus. It will be difficult, especially with the board blaming its failure on the economy and high oil prices rather than management and its own failure to listen and act.

    • Walkfit says:

      Skybus’ business model followed that of low cost European airline Ryanair. Being well aware of how Ryanair operate I wonder if Skybus also included hidded charges etc… in order to bump up the price of your ticket. There was even talk of people being charged to use the restroom on Ryanair flights. Unless skybus were also using these tactics it is difficult to make a profit.

      • Thyromine says:

        Oh yeah, Skybus had plenty of hidden charges. However I think their biggest problem was Skybus hubs (CMH and GSO) did not provide connection opportunities for passengers. Skybus highly discouraged connections; as such, passengers wishing to interchange at hubs would have to move bags between flights (on their own) as bags could not be checked on a multi-segment itinerary.

  2. flysoften says:

    One final thing, if you are in favor of saving Skybus, please send your e-mail to

  3. Virginia says:

    I am in favor of saving Skybus. If John Wiekle was CEO I would have faith in them again.. Our first few flights on Skybus were great. Even got to destination a little early. Are last flight was terrible. They cancelled out Sun. evening flight from Newburgh and never gave a reason. I think it was probably because the Monday morning flight was not filled so they but us on that flight. I lost a 1/2 day work and pay because of it.

  4. Jason says:

    If indeed the former CEO chose his own cities, there probably would not have been service to Chicopee, Milwaukee, Chattanooga, Punta Gorda (though it was popular).

    I just wish Southwest would jump in and save the sinking ship known as CMH air service. WN could make FLL, MCI, RSW work for sure. They could probably even get MSY to work. But they seem focused on expanding DEN right now. They seem to be the only city getting new flights lately. It probably won’t be long before CMH only sees flights to major hubs and thats it.

  5. Skybus Airline ceased operations on April 05, 2008 after ten months of service. In an effort to keep the Skybus story of those who worked there alive and let every one know what really happened I have created the Bring Back the Bus blog. Any one with a story is welcome to send it in. I will try to post as many as I can.

  6. Chad says:

    Hi everybody my name is chad and im a native of youngstown ohio and im looking at sky bus to buy the franchise and bring it to the youngstown warren regional airport making it the airlines hub. I don’t know if you all are familier with the boeing 787 dreamliners but we are purchasing 10 of them and putting them into service with skybus, all major destinations will be $175 round trip or less with not extra fees except for Tax. All airline crew will be hand selected and picked by me so i know my flyers have the best service available. This plan is just in the planning stages and we want to make sure we have a solid business plan from the ground up to keep this airline the go to company for flights. Some of the destinations will be Las Vegas, myrtle beach, Orlando, Atlanta, Huston, Hawaii, Miami, Cancun, Punta Cana, and last but not limited to Denver. We are looking at other possible destinations across the U.S. so please give me your input thank you have a nice day.

  7. Whatever happened to flysoften’s efforts? Did anyone send you an email? Am sure there were several who wanted to see the airline fly high again…

  8. juries says:

    Yeah right! I’m crossing my fingers to see the airllines fly again. Years had passed but we’ll never know they’ll soon make it to the skies.

  9. Steven says:

    Did anyone hear about a new skybus they are starting up for flights in the pacific northwest?

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