Hello, Columbus (airport)

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Columbus: Hello and goodbye. We’ve been wondering about Columbus, the round town that‘s capital of the Buckeye State, ever since Skybus went under last April. In the months after the sudden but not unexpected collapse of the ultra-low-fare carrier after less than a year, the expected happened: Southwest regained its place as the number one airline at the airport there. So if fares went up – and it’s still early for all the numbers to be in – they couldn’t have gone up that much. Traffic though was down, way down, falling almost 16% in July, but that was as much a function of the economy’s trembling as it was the demise of Skybus, which was swollen with cheap-seat seekers. In January, JetBlue had pulled out. Now though just in time for Columbus Day, the airport says things are looking up.

 

They’re cheered by the coming entry next month of AirTran, which starts service to and from its Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson hub on the 6h and adds Orlando and Fort Myers on the 20th. The AirTran entry is good news for fans of Mickey: Delta, once the number one at the Columbus airport, dropped its service between Columbus and Orlando as part of big cutback at the Central Florida airport, home to Disney’s original Mr. Mouse. (The photo, from Flickr, shows the old but well preserved control tower from the days of the importance of Columbus as an air-mail stop, just before it became a transfer point on the joint plane-train transcotinental service.).

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