Skybus ceases operations

Who knew the air industry realignment we've been anticipating for a couple years would create so many casualties so quickly? Skybus became the third airline in a week to cease operations, following Aloha on Monday and ATA on Wednesday. The airline made its announcement late Friday and stopped flying Saturday, citing two of the same reasons for failure as Aloha and ATA: high fuel costs and economic slowdown.

"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 Chief Executive Michael Hodge. "Skybus struggled to overcome the combination of rising jet fuel costs and a slowing economic environment. These two issues proved to be insurmountable for a new carrier."

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Skybus' website instructs ticket-holding passengers to get in touch with their credit card companies to apply for refund. It offers no advice on how to make alternate travel arrangements. Luckily, several airlines have stepped up to help stranded passengers, including JetBlue, which is offering one-way standby fares for $50 that will be honored for flights to any JetBlue destination within 100 miles of the original Skybus destination; and US Airways, which has a similar offer.

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