Skybus, the budget airline with fares as low as $10, has reported a $16 million quarterly loss. Skybus execs say the loss is in line with expectations, though some analysts say it’s a troubling sign.
Certainly it’s a tough business to break into, and fuel prices aren’t making it any easier right now.
I’ve been wondering whether Americans are really ready for the ultra-no-frills Ryanair-style experience, with minimal leg room, minimal service, extra fees for everything and flight attendants on commission to sell amenities.
But, it turns out, that’s not the issue. Enough Americans must be ready for the Skybus treatment; its planes are flying at 79 percent capacity, which is a pretty decent load factor.
So what’s the problem, if there is one? High fuel prices? Fares too low to make a profit? Too many unprofitable long-haul flights? These are some theories.
Skybus had already started to shift away from long-haul flights across the country and has been expanding routes along the East Coast. I guess we’ll have to see what happens.