New Budget Airline Launches With 1 Plane, $9 Seats

First few seats are $9; all extras will cost you
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2009 9:44 AM CDT
New Budget Airline Launches With 1 Plane, $9 Seats
In this artist's rendering provided by JetAmerica, a JetAmerica aircraft is shown. The company said 34 nonstop passenger flights a week will start July 13.   (JetAmerica)

The founder of the short-lived discount airline Skybus thinks conditions are right for a second attempt at adding service to less-used regional airports, the Chicago Tribune reports. JetAmerica will follow the model of European budget carriers like Ryanair, offering a handful of seats for $9 and charging for services like food, checked bags, and in-flight TV.

Entrepreneur John Weikle sees his success in lower oil prices and the neglect of smaller airports (think Toledo, Ohio, and Melbourne, Fla.) by the big carriers. JetAmerica will start off with a single plane making 34 stops per week. After the nine $9 tickets for each flight get snapped up, prices will vary, maxing out at $199 per seat. (More airline industry stories.)

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