FAA: Skybus Cleared for Take-Off

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The low-fare airline Skybus held a coming-out party Thursday evening at Port Columbus. Governor Strickland was there to greet the carrier’s flagship as the airline cleared its final regulatory hurdle.

Hundreds of people watched as The Spirit of Columbus taxied to a stop after a brief flight Thursday evening. Afterward Mayor Coleman and other officials stepped off the plane. They waited their turn as Gov. Strickland praised the new airline.

“It is wonderful to be here and to look out and to see that beautiful airplane and realize that this is Columbus, Ohio’s hometown airline,” Strickland said.

The new airline with its red and orange color scheme and butterfly logo is now certified to fly passengers. Verene Miller, manager of the FAA’s Flight Standards District Office in Columbus presented company president Ken Gile with its air carrier operating certificate.

“Skybus and particularly their employees have demonstrated their ability to comply with and meet the requirements of the code of regulations to hold an air carrier certificate,” Miller said. “On behalf of the United States Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, I would like to present the air carrier operating certificate to Skybus Airlines. Congratulations!”

Skybus president Ken Gile thanked Mayor Coleman for his support. The city is providing $14 million in incentives. Coleman urged the crowd to support the Skybus venture.

“There were some people that said this would not happen in Columbus,” Coleman said. “There were some people who said in our nation this would not happen in Columbus. And here we are now 4 years later, our own hometown airlines. Skybus!”

On May 22nd, Skybus leaves Columbus for Kansas City, Burbank and the Boston area. On the 29th it begins service to Bellingham, Wash.; Fort Lauderdale and Greensboro, N.C. Service to Oakland begins June 12th.

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