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Skybus moving in to Gulfport-Biloxi airport

Skybus, a 3-year-old budget airline, announced Thursday that it will provide nonstop service to Columbus, Ohio, from Gulfport-Biloxi International.

“Gulfport-Biloxi and the New Orleans area is a great destination for our nonstop flights on full-size jets and our outrageously low fares,” Josh Flyr, Skybus director of scheduling, said Wednesday.

“We think this will offer an attractive alternative to people traveling to and from the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast,” he said.

Skybus, which will begin a daily nonstop from Gulfport on Dec. 5, has been popularized by its signature slogan, “10 seats for only $10 on every flight.”

To keep fares low, the airline offers food, beverages and liquor for a small fee during each flight. Checked baggage starts at $5 for the first two bags under 50 pounds.

In addition, the airline sells advertising space on the exterior fuselage of its planes.

The Skybus flights are scheduled to leave Gulfport at 9:35 p.m. and arrive in Columbus at 12:24 a.m.

“As a result of overwhelming community support, Skybus joins us in an exciting time on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Richard Matheny, chairman of the Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport Authority. “The benefits to our region’s tourism and business will be tremendous.”

Earlier this week, the regional affiliate of American Airlines announced it will begin nonstop flights from Gulfport to Chicago’s O’Hare International on Dec. 13.

Myrtle Beach Direct Air also plans to begin nonstop flights from Gulfport-Biloxi International to the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport on Dec. 20.