Skybus Airlines Selects CEO

June 30, 2005

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Low-cost start-up carrier Skybus Airlines on Thursday said it has hired Bill Diffenderffer as its chief executive. He replaces John Weikle, interim CEO.

Diffenderffer, 54, is a former partner in IBM's global travel and transportation business consulting practice.

The Columbus, Ohio-based carrier is aiming for an autumn 2006 launch and plans to serve up to 25 cities non-stop from Columbus using full-size passenger jets.

"This will be the first US-based airline to adopt a true low-price operating model," Diffenderffer said in a statement.

Skybus said its business plan resembles that of Ryanair, the European airline that helped pioneer the ultra-low-cost concept.

The carrier's senior management team features former staff members at Ryanair, Airborne Express, Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines.