Westover Air Base Awaits the New Airline Skybus

My hometown paper, well sort of, published a story today about the new airline servicing a local airforce base in Chicopee MA. The Republican of Springfield reports that on July 16, the start-up and famously cheap new airline will inaugurate service between the base and Florida, California and Ohio.

“We’re really excited about this,” said Blair, who is also president and chief executive officer of Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council. “We’re trying to demonstrate that airports are not just for the convenience of passengers, they’re economic drivers.”

Skybus will offer once-daily flights on Airbus A319 jets to Columbus, Ohio, from the airport, which includes 188 acres in the civilian portion of Westover Air Reserve Base. Skybus will offer 10 seats on each flight at $10. Most other tickets will cost $30 to $50. From Columbus, travelers can connect to several other places in the country, including California and Florida. The jets seat 144 passengers.

Wagner asked if other similar passenger carriers are expected to come to Westover. Blair said that in six months, if Skybus is a success, the airport will start talking to other airlines. But he stressed that Westover will never become a major airport.

Murray said smaller airports will increasingly see a demand from airlines because the larger airports, like Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, will be at capacity in the coming years.