News Article - March 07, 2008

  Mother Nature threw a wrench – or snowball, to be more precise – in Skybus Airlines’ inaugural flight to New Castle Airport today. Scheduled to land in New Castle at 1:57 p.m., the plane still was stuck at Skybus headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, delayed by snow. It’s now expected to arrive around 4 p.m. Almost six months to the day since Delta bailed out of New Castle Airport, Skybus — a super low-fare passenger carrier — was to begin daily flights between Ohio and Delaware today. Two daily flights to Greensboro, S.C., are to begin Thursday. The arrival of Skybus means the First State will no longer be the only state without regularly scheduled commercial air service.

   Kim LoPresti and her 8-year-daughter Mallory passed the time playing “war” with a deck of Coca-Cola cards. They were headed to Columbus to visit friends. Although they didn’t get one of Skybus’ heralded $10 tickets – the first 10 seats on each flight are just $10 – they still only paid $25 one-way. “We’re psyched,” LoPresti said. “It’s so simple. You just pull up and check in.”

   Skybus and New Castle Airport officials are hoping the convenience of the airport will lure weary travelers away from chronically congested Philadelphia International Airport. Denis Carvill, vice president of airport/ground operations for Skybus, acknowledged that New Castle has a “checkered” history with commercial service. Before Delta, United Airlines, Shuttle America and Crown Airlines all called it quits. The cheap tickets are what are going to draw passengers, Carvill said. All the ticket includes is the cost of the seat, and passengers pay extra to check their bags, have a drink or eat. “We’re an a la carte airline,” he said.

Source - Delaware Online