Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s airport authority will scale back
plans to upgrade Portsmouth International airport following the demise of the
airport’s only commercial carrier, Skybus Airlines.
fuel costs, Startup Skybus
ceased operations last week and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 7
A319 operator linked Portsmouth with its bases
in Columbus, Ohio
and Greensboro, North
Carolina, as well as the Florida
destinations St Augustine
and Punta Gorda.
Pease Development Authority approved a $3.9-million contract to construct a
third gate at the airport, and the rearranging of space to more than double the
size of an existing gate. The contract also included the purchase of a second
International airport manager Bill Hopper says in light of Skybus’
departure, the airport will instead focus on reconfiguring existing space
because it no longer needs increased baggage screening nor ticketing areas.
contract price might be renegotiated since less work is needed, he explains.
board will make a final decision on 17 April.
Saying the Skybus shutdown “came as a complete shock”, Hopper points
to the carrier’s 80% load factors on flights from Portsmouth to Columbus between
May and October. Loads to Florida, which
launched from Portsmouth
in January of this year, were also around 80% he says.