Travel notes: Frontier beefs up Denver service, drops Detroit in fall schedule change

Frontier-Airlines---AirbusFrontier Airlines has released a fall schedule through mid-December that for the most part seems to keep the current schedule in place, but adds to flight options from Wilmington/Philadelphia (ILG).

The airline did drop service to and from Detroit in a new fall schedule. Service ends on Sept. 21.  The airline routinely adds and drops cities on a seasonal basis, although it is not clear whether flights will resume next year.

Service to Detroit and Atlanta  was added in late April. The three weekly Atlanta flights will be continue.

A quick look at the schedule shows flights from Wilmington (New Castle Airport) to Frontier’s hub in Denver will increase from three to four a week. That would seem to indicate the airline is working to build a route that would appeal to both leisure and business travelers.

Frontier flights out of Wilmington/Philadelphia typically operate a few times a week and mainly cater to leisure fliers. The beefed up schedule gets under way in August. The revised schedule also brings back connecting flights to the West. This summer, Frontier flights will not operate from Wilmington to the West Coast this summer, although passengers from the West Coast can catch an eastbound flight to Wilmington.

In regard to Florida, flights to Tampa and Fort Myers will be once a week, with Orlando service remaining at three times a week.

Airline aiding economy

Figures from Stephen Williams, who directs airport operations for the Delaware River and Bay Authority, indicate that the scheduled service accounts for 39 jobs. DRBA manages the airport in New Castle.

Frontier and its service contractor account for 18 jobs, with the TSA accounting for eight.

The remainder come from car rental counters, custodians and the Bama Cafe.

As noted last week, the airport boarded more than 62,000 passengers between July 2013 and January 2014, an impressive number for the small terminal. Keep in mind that for service to continue, Frontier will need to have 90 percent of its seats booked. Given the attraction for low fares and a somewhat stronger economy, prospects look bright for keeping those seats filled.

In working to fill those seats, Frontier Airlines is adding veterans of low-fare carriers to its executive suite. New CFO James “Jimmy” Dempsey has more than than 17 years of experience in aviation finance, most recently serving as treasurer of Ryanair, the leading low fare carrier in Europe.

Named VP of Marketing was Tyri Squyres, who, most recently served as the Director of Marketing for Volotea Airlines, a successful start-up in the European market.

She was also VP for , Marketing & Sales at Allegiant Air, an ultra-low-fare carrier that is earning strong profits. Earlier, Frontier announced a new president with experience at Spirit Airlines, which current Frontier owners Indigo Partners helped build into a successful low fare carrier.

Indigo sold its stake in Spirit at a large profit and bought Frontier from Republic. Frontier had run up losses and did not fit into that airline’s strategy of feeding traffic to hubs of US Airways and other giant carriers from smaller cities.

Airport agreement reached

The City of Philadelphia and neighbors reached an agreement in principle that will enable the Philadelphia International Airport to move ahead on its multi-billion dollar airport expansion plan without the need to acquire 72 Tinicum Township homes and relocate approximately 300 residents. That’s according to an airport release.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to review the tentative agreement which settles several years of legal wrangling.

The massive project aims to ease flight delays at the airport, which has limited options, due to its location near the Delaware River and Interstate 95. One major project is another runway.

Airlines are wary about the cost of the project and its effect on operating costs from the airport. The development would take place over a decade and a half period.

More than 30 million travelers pass through the airport each year.

Congestion was a big reason why Frontier Airlines launched service out of Wilmington/Philadelphia and Trenton/Mercer County.

The launch of Frontier Airlines service last summer shows the ability of the airline industry to generate jobs.

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