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Top Secret Airline Watch: Project New Horizons
Back in early 2003, an airline industry veteran named John Weikle left US Airways to start Skybus. And though the ultra-LCC has moved on, he apparently still has the start-up itch. Weikle's rumored to be backing a new airline that'll be based at Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia.
At this early stage, there aren't many details about Project New Horizons, other than the Bond movie name. A local business alliance is planning to chip in some money for the start-up. But the numbers being tossed out at this stage are frighteningly low; one official says $3 million is the goal for this round of fundraising. (Skybus started operations with $160 million in the bank.)
As for Yeager Airport, it seems like a decent candidate for a new ultra-low cost carrier. It currently has regional service on five of the six legacy carriers. Aside from some seasonal service from a charter airline, an LCC would be the first point-to-point carrier to touch down at CRW.
It's worth mentioning, too, that Skybus' home base of Columbus is just three hours from Yeager. Could we be gearing up for a Stateside version of the eternal Ryanair/Easyjet battle? We hope so!
· Charleston Group to Invest in Discount Airline Startup [Daily Mail]
· Low Cost Carriers coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo of CRW: Google Maps]