Skybus To End Operations

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Skybus Airlines was ending flights and ceasing operations, effective Saturday, 10TV News reported.
 
All future flights beginning Saturday were canceled.

According to a statement released by the airline Friday night, the airline struggled to overcome the combination of rising jet fuel costs and a slowing economic environment.   A similar message was added to the company's Web site.

"We deeply regret this decision, and the impact this will have on our employees and their families, our customers, our vendors and other partners, and the communities in which we have been operating," said Michael Hodge, Skybus chief executive officer.

WEB EXTRAS:  Read Skybus Statement | DISCUSS:  Skybus Shuts Down

"Our financial condition is such that our Board of Directors felt it had no choice but to cease operations," the statement read.

The airline announced all remaining flights on Friday were to be completed.  Passengers holding reservations for Friday night flights were to check in for their flight at a Skybus kiosk at the airport instead of the Skybus Web site.
 
Passengers with travel insurance would be reimbursed for unused tickets and hotel rooms.  Others will need to cancel their unused tickets through their credit card company, 10TV's Kevin Landers reported.

Skybus, which offered $10 fares on each of its flights, launched from its hub at Port Columbus International Airport in May 2007.  The airline provided 20 percent of the air travel through Port Columbus and flew to 15 destinations and opened a second hub in Greensboro, N.C., in January.

Skybus employs about 450 employees, with 350 of them based in Columbus.  Employees learned Friday that their jobs had been terminated.

The airline said more information will be provided on the company's Web site following a bankruptcy filing Monday.

Earlier in the week, ATA Airlines and Aloha Airlines announced they would shut down flights as both companies work through bankruptcy filings.
 
Skybus investors include Nationwide Mutual Capital, Huntington Capital Investment Co., Battelle Services Co. and Wolfe Enterprises Inc., a subsidiary of The Dispatch Printing Company, which owns WBNS-TV and The Ohio News Network.
 
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for additional information.

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