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Black April: Skybus is 4th Airline to Shut Down this Week

I was just on my way home from an evening out, and I saw on the ol’ OTR phone that Skybus announced that it was shutting down, effective Saturday April 5th after less than a year in the sky. For those of you counting at home, that is the 4th airline to close down in the past week.

I’ll probably write something about all of this on Monday, but it is, as far as I know, the worst non-accident related week in the history of US aviation, with Aloha, ATA, Champion and Skybus all closing. Skybus blamed high fuel and a poor economy for their shuttering, but let’s be real: how can a poor economy hurt an airline selling $10 tickets? The fuel issue is very real, and at these prices, no airline can be a low-cost carrier without fuel hedges. Skybus really should blame a poor business model for their demise. As I just wrote recently, although Skybus was often compared to Ryanair, it actually had little in common with the Irish airline.

And as it’s 1 o’clock in the morning, I’ll wrap up by saying that the common wisdom was that there was almost nothing about Skybus’ business plan that made sense (as evidenced by longtime reader IAHPHX in the comments for this post). Turns out the common wisdom was correct. Next up? The smart money’s on ExpressJet…Or Virgin America…Or Eos…Or Silverjet…It’s going to be a rough summer. More on Monday.


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