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Mon, Nov 24, 2003

ACA To Launch Independence Air

Low-Cost Airline To Launch In Early 2004

What do you do when your little airline is targeted for hostile takeover in an all-stock deal? Why, reinvent yourself as a low-cost carrier. Of course.

That's exactly what Atlantic Coast Air has done in renaming itself Independence Air (no hint about the company's attitude regarding the takeover, eh?). Set to launch from Dulles Airport to 50 destinations next year, Independence claims it's entered agreements for 112 aircraft, including 25 Airbus aircraft -- a mix of A320s and A319s. The rest will be made up of regional jets, including the CRJ-200.

"We are very excited that Independence Air at Washington Dulles will create America's largest low-fare hub in terms of total departures - in the fifth largest air travel market in the US," said Atlantic Coast Chairman and CEO Kerry Skeen. "We remain solidly convinced that by using the right aircraft sized for the right markets, Independence Air will take its place as the natural next step in the evolution of the highly successful low-fare airline model."

The company's website has already proven quite a hit among internet fare-hunters. Skeen said the company has been amazed by the strong response from the public to the newly launched Web site. "We believe that our low-fare strategy - once it is fully implemented - will satisfy that demand with a product that people are really going to love."

FMI: www.flyi.com

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