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GlobalAirways
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Wed Sep 30, 2020 6:21 pm

It had an interesting leadership team and issues with it's planes if I remember correctly.
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stl07
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:12 pm

OB1504 wrote:
stl07 wrote:
[And they managed to sell Fort Walton Beach as Florida rather than someplace like TPA or Fort Meyers.


Unless I’m missing something, Fort Walton Beach is in Florida.

It’s easier to sell secondary Florida to people who are just going to vacation on the beach. All those small airports have a beach 5-15 minutes away.

That's fair, I still think it is interesting that they were able to fly 2nd tier to 2nd tier profitably while skybus couldn't. But to your point and I guess my overall point, g4's execution was correct as they understood that they could sell a random city in FL because the people didn't care if it was an important destination like MIA or some village on the panhandle because all they want is a beach, which almost all of G4's Florida airports provide.
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ChasChandler
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:38 pm

The whole Skybus business plan was thought up by a man named John Weikle. Skybus was his baby. He got the ball rolling by lining up a pretty significant stockpile of money, but right before they launched the airline, the investors wanted someone with more experience and brought in Bill Diffenderffer, who had experience in the airline industry, but never as a CEO. It was his decisions about scheduling and adding routes that led to the airlines demise. Diffenderffer flew around the country being wined and dined by small market airports that were close to big cities and wanted air service. He payed little attention to the actual running of the airline and it showed. The airline collapsed due to a lot of reasons including a spike in the fuel price, and maybe it wouldn't of made any difference in the end, But I always wondered what would have happened if Weikie had been given a chance to run things.
 
enplaned
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:07 pm

stl07 wrote:
OB1504 wrote:
stl07 wrote:
[And they managed to sell Fort Walton Beach as Florida rather than someplace like TPA or Fort Meyers.


Unless I’m missing something, Fort Walton Beach is in Florida.

It’s easier to sell secondary Florida to people who are just going to vacation on the beach. All those small airports have a beach 5-15 minutes away.

That's fair, I still think it is interesting that they were able to fly 2nd tier to 2nd tier profitably while skybus couldn't. But to your point and I guess my overall point, g4's execution was correct as they understood that they could sell a random city in FL because the people didn't care if it was an important destination like MIA or some village on the panhandle because all they want is a beach, which almost all of G4's Florida airports provide.


By the time that G4 expanded service to VPS they had over 10 years of experience flying from BLV, in other words, they had an established customer base, many of whom had flown G4 to a whole bunch of other Florida points and were therefore a good candidate to be pitched another point in Florida. Hey, you've been to PIE and PGD or whatever, now try VPS!

Also, a "random city in FL" makes it sound like Drew Wells and before him Lukas Johnson and the other past Allegiant planners were throwing 52 cards in the air and seeing what falls face up. That's not how it works within G4 at all. G4 is not averse to experimentation, and for that reason not everything works, but there's a process. You need to be able to tell a story, backed by data, about why it's worth trying a route. There will likely be a projected P&L for the route. That story may be (and probably is) route and destination specific (in other words, the story for why BLV-VPS is worth trying is different from e.g. GRR-PBI or whatever). But there is always good reason to try what they're trying. It's not like Maury Gallagher gets baked on Mother Nature (now legal in Nevada) and throws darts at a board.
 
Chemist
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:08 pm

My one flight with them I remember they had a "shopping interlude" while they talked on the PA about their things for sale and had carts down the aisle hoping that passengers would buy stuff. I don't remember what they were selling but I think it was more than food. At the time I thought it felt cheap and kind of disgusting and dirty - the same way I feel when in a movie theater and as a captive audience am forced to sit through a bunch of advertising to see the movie I paid for. Perhaps I'm more sensitive than most that way. Of course now it wouldn't be so surprising, but a lot has changed over >10 years.

I also remember that the seat pitch was really tight.
 
filipinoavgeek
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:46 pm

Speaking as a non-American, what exactly was wrong with Columbus as a hub? Isn't it the capital and largest city of Ohio?
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gsoflyer
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:58 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
Contrary to what others say, there were some innovative concepts that Skybus used.

First of all they were an ultra low cost carrier with unbundled tickets before airlines like Spirit and Frontier expanded the concept. Charging a fee for all checked bags was a new concept in 2007. Advertising fares without taxes and fees as low as $10 was a new concept. It was also,a new concept to have flight attendants paid commission on inflight food and beverage sales.

Secondly the relied heavily on internet and self service options so they could have less staff. They charged more at the airport than online for bags for example.

The poor business decisions such as the Columbus based network without connections were not successful. Not covering the Airline operational basics like having deicing contracts during winter also hurt them. In some ways they were ahead of their time, but in other ways their business decisions were a failure.


First, I agree with the concepts. They utilized the whole internet based tickets well ahead of Allegiant, Frontier, and and Spirit. Skybus was trying to be the Ryan Air of USA. And their concept of charge for everything turned into something people were willing to do too.

I am not sure the CMH and GSO were really part of their failure. I mean, I flew them a bunch of 50-100% full flights to Portsmouth, Burbank and Wilmington a bunch of times. Where I think they failed was 2-3 flights per day from GSO to CMH. I mean the idea of using underserved airports and flying routes to alternative airports was a sound business idea. The problem is, instead of research what the capacity would be, they just saturated routes. This worked OK from GSO where RDU/CLT/ROA people were willing to come over and user the service. But, there were markets where there was just no demand for that many seats per day. IMO, they should have used that capacity and gotten another focus city that was underserved at the time or a destination (GSP, TYS all come to mind in the area to make quick turns on the aircraft).

Plus, I used CMH for a manual connection one time. With patience, it was doable.
 
enplaned
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:58 pm

filipinoavgeek wrote:
Speaking as a non-American, what exactly was wrong with Columbus as a hub? Isn't it the capital and largest city of Ohio?


It wasn't a hub, it was a base. It relied on 100% O&D traffic (no connections). On routes like that, it very much matters the traffic generating capability of the city.

PSA for Columbus is 2.5mm (Primary Statistical Area - largest measure of a metro area by the Census Bureau). Metro London is over 14mm people and they're quite wealthy. (London is relevant because, as previously discussed, Skybus was supposed to be a US version of Ryanair, and Ryanair did very well from its London base).

PSA for NYC is almost 23mm. So, NYC has a metro area that's about 9-10x that of Columbus. Columbus is the 28th largest PSA in the US. Cleveland, also in Ohio, has the 17th largest PSA, so bigger than Columbus. Yes, the city of Columbus itself is bigger than the city of Cleveland, but the size of the city itself is basically irrelevant, what matters is the size of the city's metro area.

So, if you want to start a carrier that relies on nonstop flights only, then basing it in the 28th largest PSA isn't the swiftest move. How about #1 (NYC), #2 (LA) or #3 (Chicago)?
 
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Polot
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:14 am

filipinoavgeek wrote:
Speaking as a non-American, what exactly was wrong with Columbus as a hub? Isn't it the capital and largest city of Ohio?

It is a medium size city with essentially no tourist appeal/draw outside of Ohio State University which of course is very seasonal (and specific) traffic.

It also wasn’t a “hub”. Skybus did not allow connections. You had to make them yourself (which, with Skybus’s fares many did) and if you missed it oh well (which of course did not help them much in the publicity department).
 
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laxtrii
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:34 am

Poor business plan. Chaotic C-suite with a lot of guys not ready for the roles they were put in. They sure burned through a ton a cash in no time.
 
DeltaRules
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:56 am

Polot wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
Speaking as a non-American, what exactly was wrong with Columbus as a hub? Isn't it the capital and largest city of Ohio?

It is a medium size city with essentially no tourist appeal/draw outside of Ohio State University which of course is very seasonal (and specific) traffic.

It also wasn’t a “hub”. Skybus did not allow connections. You had to make them yourself (which, with Skybus’s fares many did) and if you missed it oh well (which of course did not help them much in the publicity department).


It could've made sense as a hub geographically if they were ever to offer proper connections- HP's CMH hub worked and these were the days when CLE and CVG were still hubs for CO and DL, along with the final vestiges of a US hub/focus city at PIT.

They just, you know, didn't offer connections.
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deltairlines
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:58 am

I was a senior in college back in 2008 at Wake Forest when SkyBus was using the same concourse as Delta did at GSO. I was flying Delta every 1-2 weeks out to the West Coast during my last semester of college so spent a good bit of time walking by the SkyBus gates and they never seemed that busy.

I thought about taking them to go to BUR (LAX was a frequent destination of mine) but couldn't turn down my first class upgrade as a Platinum Medallion going through ATL. I think only one of my friends used them - he lived two miles away from St. Augustine (FL) Airport and they had a non-stop GSO-UST - was definitely easier for him on a <90 minute flight to avoid connecting in ATL or CLT and then going to JAX and driving an hour.
 
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:13 am

filipinoavgeek wrote:
Speaking as a non-American, what exactly was wrong with Columbus as a hub? Isn't it the capital and largest city of Ohio?

Nothing. They problem is they tried to do too much out of there. And despite the some of the conversation above, Florida wasn’t the problem. It was all the other weird random routes that got them in trouble (along with a major oil spike).
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
santi319
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:48 am

Spirit and Allegiant charged for bags and drinks way before Skybus was created. They were too little too late.
 
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:11 am

DeltaRules wrote:
Polot wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
Speaking as a non-American, what exactly was wrong with Columbus as a hub? Isn't it the capital and largest city of Ohio?

It is a medium size city with essentially no tourist appeal/draw outside of Ohio State University which of course is very seasonal (and specific) traffic.

It also wasn’t a “hub”. Skybus did not allow connections. You had to make them yourself (which, with Skybus’s fares many did) and if you missed it oh well (which of course did not help them much in the publicity department).


It could've made sense as a hub geographically if they were ever to offer proper connections- HP's CMH hub worked and these were the days when CLE and CVG were still hubs for CO and DL, along with the final vestiges of a US hub/focus city at PIT.

They just, you know, didn't offer connections.


Off topic but HP's CMH hub most certainly did not work. It was barely a hub, it had flights to BOS/LGA/PHL/DCA/Florida/LAX/PHX/LAS and occasionally ORD and DFW. It only existed because HP could not fly to LGA and DCA from their western hubs. Once HP got beyond perimeter slots at DCA it quickly disappeared.
 
mrbonfire
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:14 am

NWAESC wrote:
stl07 wrote:
Nobody would have thought Belleville IL to Fort Walton Beach would be so successful that they upgraded it from 2x weekly to 2x daily within a matter of months


I would've. People in the Midwest see going to Florida as higher calling.


Haha
 
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KLMatSJC
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:05 am

usflyer msp wrote:
Off topic but HP's CMH hub most certainly did not work. It was barely a hub, it had flights to BOS/LGA/PHL/DCA/Florida/LAX/PHX/LAS and occasionally ORD and DFW. It only existed because HP could not fly to LGA and DCA from their western hubs. Once HP got beyond perimeter slots at DCA it quickly disappeared.

It did yield one of my favorite paint schemes though
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:44 am

I read somewhere on this site before that SkyBus technically never ran out of cash, just that they saw the writing on the wall and decided to fold even when they still had money in the bank. Is that true?
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enplaned
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 1:32 pm

filipinoavgeek wrote:
I read somewhere on this site before that SkyBus technically never ran out of cash, just that they saw the writing on the wall and decided to fold even when they still had money in the bank. Is that true?


It had money and aircraft. Plan A didn't work, the board didn't want to try a Plan B. Unsecured creditor recovery in the wind-up was over 90%.

It was shut down the same week as ATA and Aloha. The stories are still available on the web.
 
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 1:50 pm

enplaned wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
I read somewhere on this site before that SkyBus technically never ran out of cash, just that they saw the writing on the wall and decided to fold even when they still had money in the bank. Is that true?


It had money and aircraft. Plan A didn't work, the board didn't want to try a Plan B. Unsecured creditor recovery in the wind-up was over 90%.

It was shut down the same week as ATA and Aloha. The stories are still available on the web.


I remember Aloha shutting down, apparently they just couldn't compete against Hawaiian and Go! (which ironically itself would be defunct a few years later).
Does anyone remember why they chose Columbus specifically as their base and not a larger market like Cleveland or elsewhere?
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Polot
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:28 pm

filipinoavgeek wrote:
enplaned wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
I read somewhere on this site before that SkyBus technically never ran out of cash, just that they saw the writing on the wall and decided to fold even when they still had money in the bank. Is that true?


It had money and aircraft. Plan A didn't work, the board didn't want to try a Plan B. Unsecured creditor recovery in the wind-up was over 90%.

It was shut down the same week as ATA and Aloha. The stories are still available on the web.


I remember Aloha shutting down, apparently they just couldn't compete against Hawaiian and Go! (which ironically itself would be defunct a few years later).
Does anyone remember why they chose Columbus specifically as their base and not a larger market like Cleveland or elsewhere?

Columbus poured a lot of money into the venture as they were looking for an airline to move in and create a hub after America West pulled down theirs. Skybus’s founder was also from the area iirc.
 
luckyone
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:30 pm

filipinoavgeek wrote:
enplaned wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
I read somewhere on this site before that SkyBus technically never ran out of cash, just that they saw the writing on the wall and decided to fold even when they still had money in the bank. Is that true?


It had money and aircraft. Plan A didn't work, the board didn't want to try a Plan B. Unsecured creditor recovery in the wind-up was over 90%.

It was shut down the same week as ATA and Aloha. The stories are still available on the web.


I remember Aloha shutting down, apparently they just couldn't compete against Hawaiian and Go! (which ironically itself would be defunct a few years later).
Does anyone remember why they chose Columbus specifically as their base and not a larger market like Cleveland or elsewhere?

CMH had the space and was looming to backfill America West’s departure. CLE still had the Continental hub at the time and the airport likely weren’t interested in offering Skybus rock bottom
fees.
 
DeltaRules
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 2:30 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
DeltaRules wrote:
Polot wrote:
It is a medium size city with essentially no tourist appeal/draw outside of Ohio State University which of course is very seasonal (and specific) traffic.

It also wasn’t a “hub”. Skybus did not allow connections. You had to make them yourself (which, with Skybus’s fares many did) and if you missed it oh well (which of course did not help them much in the publicity department).


It could've made sense as a hub geographically if they were ever to offer proper connections- HP's CMH hub worked and these were the days when CLE and CVG were still hubs for CO and DL, along with the final vestiges of a US hub/focus city at PIT.

They just, you know, didn't offer connections.


Off topic but HP's CMH hub most certainly did not work. It was barely a hub, it had flights to BOS/LGA/PHL/DCA/Florida/LAX/PHX/LAS and occasionally ORD and DFW. It only existed because HP could not fly to LGA and DCA from their western hubs. Once HP got beyond perimeter slots at DCA it quickly disappeared.


EWR, BDL, MDW, YYZ, BWI as well.
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FlyingElvii
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:23 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
SkyBus had a stupid business plan. Columbus, Ohio to random airports was never going to work.


SkyBus's hands were tied in large part to the wishes of the primary investor, Nationwide Insurance, who wanted an Airline Hub in Columbus, after the demise of the America West Hub. And Americans were not yet ready for the Ryanair model. A classic case of over-promising/under-delivering which is a fatal mistake with American Consumers.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:33 pm

enplaned wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
Speaking as a non-American, what exactly was wrong with Columbus as a hub? Isn't it the capital and largest city of Ohio?


It wasn't a hub, it was a base. It relied on 100% O&D traffic (no connections). On routes like that, it very much matters the traffic generating capability of the city.

PSA for Columbus is 2.5mm (Primary Statistical Area - largest measure of a metro area by the Census Bureau). Metro London is over 14mm people and they're quite wealthy. (London is relevant because, as previously discussed, Skybus was supposed to be a US version of Ryanair, and Ryanair did very well from its London base).

PSA for NYC is almost 23mm. So, NYC has a metro area that's about 9-10x that of Columbus. Columbus is the 28th largest PSA in the US. Cleveland, also in Ohio, has the 17th largest PSA, so bigger than Columbus. Yes, the city of Columbus itself is bigger than the city of Cleveland, but the size of the city itself is basically irrelevant, what matters is the size of the city's metro area.

So, if you want to start a carrier that relies on nonstop flights only, then basing it in the 28th largest PSA isn't the swiftest move. How about #1 (NYC), #2 (LA) or #3 (Chicago)?

Also keep in mind, at that time, the Great Lakes Region was hub saturated. Comair/DL at CVG, UA at CLE, NWA in Detroit, AA/UA at ORD, and ATA at IND. (ATA had a huge draw from other catchments in those days, Especially CVG, due to fares), USAIR at pit had closed, but was still a focus city
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:37 pm

mrbonfire wrote:
NWAESC wrote:
stl07 wrote:
Nobody would have thought Belleville IL to Fort Walton Beach would be so successful that they upgraded it from 2x weekly to 2x daily within a matter of months


I would've. People in the Midwest see going to Florida as higher calling.


Haha

Spend a couple of winters here, you'll understand....
Lots of ties from the Midwest to the North Florida Coast, closest driving beaches for most. And cheaper in season than most other places, which is why it has long been known as the "Redneck Riviera".
 
enplaned
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:13 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
SkyBus had a stupid business plan. Columbus, Ohio to random airports was never going to work.


And Americans were not yet ready for the Ryanair model.


I would be interested to see any evidence you have for that statement.
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:44 pm

enplaned wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
usflyer msp wrote:
SkyBus had a stupid business plan. Columbus, Ohio to random airports was never going to work.


And Americans were not yet ready for the Ryanair model.


I would be interested to see any evidence you have for that statement.


The failure of SkyBus?
 
sw733
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:56 pm

enplaned wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
It was shut down the same week as ATA and Aloha. The stories are still available on the web.


Wow, really? I feel like ATA and Aloha were so much longer ago than Skybus in my head. Damn.
 
jplatts
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:25 pm

Both WN and G4 had added nonstop service to some secondary airports out of Columbus since SX's demise such as CMH-DAL/HOU on WN and LCK-SFB/PGD/PIE on G4.

SX serving secondary airports such as BUR, GYY, CEF, OAK, PGD, and ILG instead of LAX, ORD, BDL, SFO, RSW, or PHL would not have been an issue if the load factors were decent and the flights were profitable as other airlines such as WN and G4 serve some secondary airports nonstop from Columbus.
 
enplaned
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:58 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
enplaned wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:

And Americans were not yet ready for the Ryanair model.


I would be interested to see any evidence you have for that statement.


The failure of SkyBus?


OK, let's understand what you mean by "Americans were not ready for the Ryanair model" because you could mean many things. So please explain what you mean.
 
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stl07
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:58 pm

FlyingElvii wrote:
mrbonfire wrote:
NWAESC wrote:

I would've. People in the Midwest see going to Florida as higher calling.


Haha

Spend a couple of winters here, you'll understand....
Lots of ties from the Midwest to the North Florida Coast, closest driving beaches for most. And cheaper in season than most other places, which is why it has long been known as the "Redneck Riviera".

That and the interesting characters from the south/panhandle
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enplaned
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:00 pm

jplatts wrote:
Both WN and G4 had added nonstop service to some secondary airports out of Columbus since SX's demise such as CMH-DAL/HOU on WN and LCK-SFB/PGD/PIE on G4.

SX serving secondary airports such as BUR, GYY, CEF, OAK, PGD, and ILG instead of LAX, ORD, BDL, SFO, RSW, or PHL would not have been an issue if the load factors were decent and the flights were profitable as other airlines such as WN and G4 serve some secondary airports nonstop from Columbus.


Neither DAL nor HOU are secondary airports in the way way that, say, GYY or CEF is. DAL is arguably the preferred airport for a lot of the Metroplex, and for parts of Houston, HOU is at least as good as IAH. Meanwhile, GYY and CEF are... windswept wastelands. Any category of "secondary airport" that captures both DAL and GYY is probably too broad to be useful.
 
Bald1983
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:20 pm

HNLSLCPDX wrote:
Curious of people’s opinion on SkyBus, if you ever flew them, were they ahead of their time for the US, what would they have maybe looked like today if they had survived?



Skybus was absurd, almost to the degree of Hooter Air. All it offered was flights to Columbus with no connections and when you tried to book another flight on to where you might want to go, the fares were not that much lower and in some cases higher then the fares on real airlines. Skybus was one of the airlines people realized were doomed from the start.
 
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:50 am

Polot wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
enplaned wrote:

It had money and aircraft. Plan A didn't work, the board didn't want to try a Plan B. Unsecured creditor recovery in the wind-up was over 90%.

It was shut down the same week as ATA and Aloha. The stories are still available on the web.


I remember Aloha shutting down, apparently they just couldn't compete against Hawaiian and Go! (which ironically itself would be defunct a few years later).
Does anyone remember why they chose Columbus specifically as their base and not a larger market like Cleveland or elsewhere?

Columbus poured a lot of money into the venture as they were looking for an airline to move in and create a hub after America West pulled down theirs. Skybus’s founder was also from the area iirc.


For that matter GSO did too. GSO had planned major changes to the airport to facilitate them. The ramps (because Skybus didn't want to use Jet Bridges) are still there, and all those gates are still unused, the boarding pass stations in yellow are still there.
 
SurfandSnow
Posts: 1655
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:48 am

gsoflyer wrote:
Polot wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:

I remember Aloha shutting down, apparently they just couldn't compete against Hawaiian and Go! (which ironically itself would be defunct a few years later).
Does anyone remember why they chose Columbus specifically as their base and not a larger market like Cleveland or elsewhere?

Columbus poured a lot of money into the venture as they were looking for an airline to move in and create a hub after America West pulled down theirs. Skybus’s founder was also from the area iirc.


For that matter GSO did too. GSO had planned major changes to the airport to facilitate them. The ramps (because Skybus didn't want to use Jet Bridges) are still there, and all those gates are still unused, the boarding pass stations in yellow are still there.


Wasn't there a GSO-BUR service? That one seemed crazy to me - especially given the lack of ability to seamlessly connect to flights beyond GSO! At least Columbus seems to have a pretty decent track record when it comes to nonstop LAX flights. I'm not sure if GSO has ever been linked to LAX nonstop.
Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
 
filipinoavgeek
Posts: 656
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:18 am

Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:48 am

gsoflyer wrote:
Polot wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:

I remember Aloha shutting down, apparently they just couldn't compete against Hawaiian and Go! (which ironically itself would be defunct a few years later).
Does anyone remember why they chose Columbus specifically as their base and not a larger market like Cleveland or elsewhere?

Columbus poured a lot of money into the venture as they were looking for an airline to move in and create a hub after America West pulled down theirs. Skybus’s founder was also from the area iirc.


For that matter GSO did too. GSO had planned major changes to the airport to facilitate them. The ramps (because Skybus didn't want to use Jet Bridges) are still there, and all those gates are still unused, the boarding pass stations in yellow are still there.


Speaking of jetbridges, is there a reason why most of the American LCCs (Spirit/Frontier/Allegiant/Southwest/Sun Country/etc.), and indeed even Asian LCCs, seem to be more open to their use compared to their European counterparts? Over in Asia LCCs generally use jetbridges (if begrudgingly at times) at airports that have them, and it appears to be the same with American LCCs, unlike in Europe where their use is usually avoided whenever possible.
RIP 9V-SKA
2007 - 2019
 
filipinoavgeek
Posts: 656
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:49 am

Wasn't there also an airport where SkyBus was the only operator to and the airport had to build a special terminal (that looked like a tent) just for them?
RIP 9V-SKA
2007 - 2019
 
usflyer msp
Posts: 4071
Joined: Tue May 23, 2000 11:50 am

Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:04 am

filipinoavgeek wrote:
gsoflyer wrote:
Polot wrote:
Columbus poured a lot of money into the venture as they were looking for an airline to move in and create a hub after America West pulled down theirs. Skybus’s founder was also from the area iirc.


For that matter GSO did too. GSO had planned major changes to the airport to facilitate them. The ramps (because Skybus didn't want to use Jet Bridges) are still there, and all those gates are still unused, the boarding pass stations in yellow are still there.


Speaking of jetbridges, is there a reason why most of the American LCCs (Spirit/Frontier/Allegiant/Southwest/Sun Country/etc.), and indeed even Asian LCCs, seem to be more open to their use compared to their European counterparts? Over in Asia LCCs generally use jetbridges (if begrudgingly at times) at airports that have them, and it appears to be the same with American LCCs, unlike in Europe where their use is usually avoided whenever possible.


In Europe, gates without jetways are cheaper to use. US Airports do not charge a separate fee for using jetways so there is no cost savings and customers greatly prefer them.
 
N312RC
Posts: 2621
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2000 10:58 am

Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:23 am

stl07 wrote:
NWAESC wrote:
stl07 wrote:
Nobody would have thought Belleville IL to Fort Walton Beach would be so successful that they upgraded it from 2x weekly to 2x daily within a matter of months


I would've. People in the Midwest see going to Florida as higher calling.

True, I guess they took advantage of the untapped demand.

Florida and the Lake of the Ozarks are midwest higher callings lol. But for some reason, they avoid Miami.


Simple, people from Minnesota/Wisconsin/Illinois/Michigan etc do not like New Yorkers. Sorry to say but it’s true.
 
N312RC
Posts: 2621
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 7:40 am

enplaned wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
enplaned wrote:

I would be interested to see any evidence you have for that statement.


The failure of SkyBus?


OK, let's understand what you mean by "Americans were not ready for the Ryanair model" because you could mean many things. So please explain what you mean.


Well this one is simple. You ever been to UST? There’s an enterprise car rental that serves the FBO as well, with like 7 cars. There’s no bus. No city bus. No tour bus. There’s no RENFE station within walking/bus distance. This is America. The “Hilton Garden Inn St Augustine Beach/I-95/Outlet Mall” shuttle *might* pick you up.

Let’s compare that to a secondary/or less airport in Europe where there’s much more public transit. On top of that Americans aren’t huge on package deals where you spend the week at an all inclusive, eating the same mediocre buffet food every day, complaining about things but staying there again, year after year, like the British for example. Trust me, I’ve stayed at a Club Med in Florida, never ever again.

Americans are much more apt to fly ORD-SRQ for $400 round trip on a mainline carrier, book their own rental car, and stay in a hotel in Siesta Key that they booked direct. It’s just different.
 
DeltaRules
Posts: 5359
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 4:59 pm

filipinoavgeek wrote:
Wasn't there also an airport where SkyBus was the only operator to and the airport had to build a special terminal (that looked like a tent) just for them?


UST. When we scoped out the terminal for our following trip (which was on SX), we erroneously went into the FBO thinking it was the terminal. Then we found the Big Top.
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HNLSLCPDX
Topic Author
Posts: 305
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Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:36 pm

To me a secondary airport and alternate airport are completely different. Secondary airports to me are ones such as UST (St. Augustine), RFD (Chicago Rockford), CEF (Westover). Alternative to me are DAL, HOU, BUR, etc.
 
Northwest1988
Posts: 384
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:10 pm

Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Fri Oct 02, 2020 6:21 pm

I remember seeing them at PGD back during spring break 2008. Only a month or so before they shut down. It was so cool seeing the big A319 at PGD. I only ever knew it to be general aviation. One of the only pics I have:

https://flightaware.com/photos/view/708 ... es/page/14
 
luckyone
Posts: 3875
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:50 pm

Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Sat Oct 03, 2020 1:53 am

filipinoavgeek wrote:
gsoflyer wrote:
Polot wrote:
Columbus poured a lot of money into the venture as they were looking for an airline to move in and create a hub after America West pulled down theirs. Skybus’s founder was also from the area iirc.


For that matter GSO did too. GSO had planned major changes to the airport to facilitate them. The ramps (because Skybus didn't want to use Jet Bridges) are still there, and all those gates are still unused, the boarding pass stations in yellow are still there.


Speaking of jetbridges, is there a reason why most of the American LCCs (Spirit/Frontier/Allegiant/Southwest/Sun Country/etc.), and indeed even Asian LCCs, seem to be more open to their use compared to their European counterparts? Over in Asia LCCs generally use jetbridges (if begrudgingly at times) at airports that have them, and it appears to be the same with American LCCs, unlike in Europe where their use is usually avoided whenever possible.

Aside from cultural expectations climate plays a role. Many parts of the US experience combinations of heat and humidity that most of Europe just does not. Same for Asia.
 
enplaned
Posts: 224
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:49 pm

Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:41 am

Northwest1988 wrote:
I remember seeing them at PGD back during spring break 2008. Only a month or so before they shut down. It was so cool seeing the big A319 at PGD. I only ever knew it to be general aviation. One of the only pics I have:

https://flightaware.com/photos/view/708 ... es/page/14


And now PGD, at least pre-Covid, is covered with A320s from G4.
 
enplaned
Posts: 224
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:49 pm

Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:54 am

gsoflyer wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
Contrary to what others say, there were some innovative concepts that Skybus used.

First of all they were an ultra low cost carrier with unbundled tickets before airlines like Spirit and Frontier expanded the concept. Charging a fee for all checked bags was a new concept in 2007. Advertising fares without taxes and fees as low as $10 was a new concept. It was also,a new concept to have flight attendants paid commission on inflight food and beverage sales.

Secondly the relied heavily on internet and self service options so they could have less staff. They charged more at the airport than online for bags for example.

The poor business decisions such as the Columbus based network without connections were not successful. Not covering the Airline operational basics like having deicing contracts during winter also hurt them. In some ways they were ahead of their time, but in other ways their business decisions were a failure.


First, I agree with the concepts. They utilized the whole internet based tickets well ahead of Allegiant, Frontier, and and Spirit.


The following is a link to the Allegiant IPO document of December 2006 (well before Skybus was flying). It says on pg 4 that the proportion of website sales for Allegiant in the 12 months ending Sep 2006 was 84.8%

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data ... z424b4.htm

In other words, you are just flat wrong. Please think twice before you venture such opinions again.
 
enplaned
Posts: 224
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:49 pm

Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:57 am

Polot wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:
enplaned wrote:

It had money and aircraft. Plan A didn't work, the board didn't want to try a Plan B. Unsecured creditor recovery in the wind-up was over 90%.

It was shut down the same week as ATA and Aloha. The stories are still available on the web.


I remember Aloha shutting down, apparently they just couldn't compete against Hawaiian and Go! (which ironically itself would be defunct a few years later).
Does anyone remember why they chose Columbus specifically as their base and not a larger market like Cleveland or elsewhere?

Columbus poured a lot of money into the venture as they were looking for an airline to move in and create a hub after America West pulled down theirs. Skybus’s founder was also from the area iirc.


Weikle was from Dayton. His original conception of the airline had its base in Dayton. Dayton anchors the 59th largest Primary Statistical Area in the US. Columbus, as the 28th largest PSA was too small to support SkyBus, just imagine if it had been based in Dayton instead.
 
DeltaRules
Posts: 5359
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2001 11:57 am

Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Sat Oct 03, 2020 3:08 pm

enplaned wrote:
Polot wrote:
filipinoavgeek wrote:

I remember Aloha shutting down, apparently they just couldn't compete against Hawaiian and Go! (which ironically itself would be defunct a few years later).
Does anyone remember why they chose Columbus specifically as their base and not a larger market like Cleveland or elsewhere?

Columbus poured a lot of money into the venture as they were looking for an airline to move in and create a hub after America West pulled down theirs. Skybus’s founder was also from the area iirc.


Weikle was from Dayton. His original conception of the airline had its base in Dayton. Dayton anchors the 59th largest Primary Statistical Area in the US. Columbus, as the 28th largest PSA was too small to support SkyBus, just imagine if it had been based in Dayton instead.


It still wouldn't have worked, but I don't think dropping SX into DAY instead of CMH would've been as disastrous as you think.

The flipside of your thought is that CVG was known for its massive fares and Cincinnati area passengers driving to DAY to catch flights. Plus, SX had advertising in DAY trying to draw people to CMH, so the reverse might have happened as well.
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enplaned
Posts: 224
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:49 pm

Re: Was SkyBus ahead of its time?

Sat Oct 03, 2020 4:53 pm

DeltaRules wrote:
enplaned wrote:
Polot wrote:
Columbus poured a lot of money into the venture as they were looking for an airline to move in and create a hub after America West pulled down theirs. Skybus’s founder was also from the area iirc.


Weikle was from Dayton. His original conception of the airline had its base in Dayton. Dayton anchors the 59th largest Primary Statistical Area in the US. Columbus, as the 28th largest PSA was too small to support SkyBus, just imagine if it had been based in Dayton instead.


It still wouldn't have worked, but I don't think dropping SX into DAY instead of CMH would've been as disastrous as you think.

The flipside of your thought is that CVG was known for its massive fares and Cincinnati area passengers driving to DAY to catch flights. Plus, SX had advertising in DAY trying to draw people to CMH, so the reverse might have happened as well.


Dayton PSA = 1.1mm, Cinci PSA = 2.3mm, Columbus PSA = 2.5mm

About a 65 mile drive from Cinci city center to DAY - obviously less from the northern suburbs of Cinci.

Still, seems a stretch to say that you'll do better trading Columbus PSA, which I think is also the wealthiest per capita in OH, for that of Dayton, which is less than half the number of people, hoping to get people driving from Cinci to make up the gap.

I do have some sympathy for the notion. In an alternative universe, some number of decades ago the cities of Dayton and Cinci cooperated to build an airport halfway between the city centers, somewhere just off of I-75 maybe just around Monroe. It would be less than 30 miles from each city center, and that airport would have benefitted from the combined weight of both metros, which at 3.4mm would be pretty meaty.

But instead, DAY was built north of Dayton and CVG is south of Cinci and each of them basically have to subsist from the respective metro areas. And empirically, there have been other attempts to leverage DAY and it never seems to be all that successful.

So the potential of DAY is unconvincing to me.

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