Frontier Airlines returns to Palm Beach
WEST PALM BEACH -- Frontier Airlines will return to Palm Beach International Airport in October, six years after abandoning its daily non-stop flight from PBIA to Denver.
The airline said Wednesday it plans to offer direct service not only to Denver International Airport but also Washington Dulles International Airport and New Jersey's Trenton-Mercer Airport.
Frontier would be the only carrier at PBIA offering non-stop flights to Denver -- a popular destination for local skiers. Although other commercial airlines provide direct service to airports in New Jersey and the Washington, D.C. region, Frontier will be the only carrier with non-stop flights to Dulles and Trenton, officials said.
"We are very excited," Palm Beach County Airports Director Bruce Pelly said Wednesday. "New service to the airport is great for us."
Other Palm Beach County tourism officials also heralded the airline's return, saying it would provide an important link for passengers looking for non-stop routes and help lure more tourists to the area. Tourism officials said the three flights are expected to have an annual economic impact of more than $30 million.
"We welcome the announcement of Frontier Airlines' new routes to important markets such as Denver, Washington D.C. and the Northern Philadelphia/Trenton area," Jorge Pesquera, President and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches, the county's tourism marketing arm said in a statement. "Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, in particular, represent significant, proven feeder markets to the state of Florida and The Palm Beaches. We look forward to identifying the appropriate funding sources to deliver clear brand messaging using our new tourism identity to generate demand from these markets."
Frontier said it will fly from PBIA to Denver four days a week beginning Oct. 26. Flights to Trenton will be offered three days a week beginning on Nov. 20. Service between PBIA and Dulles begins on Nov. 22, and will be available four days a week.
The Denver-based airline is offering introductory fares to passengers who book flights by Aug. 9. The discounted fares range from $49 to $89 for a one-way ticket, and are available for flights through March 1. Tickets must be purchased through the company's website, FlyFrontier.com.
"We are excited to introduce our brand of low fares to the Palm Beach community," Daniel Shurz, a Frontier senior vice president, said in a statement. "These introductory fares attest to our commitment to make air travel more affordable and accessible."
Wednesday's announcement marks the second time Frontier has offered service at PBIA.
The low-cost carrier began daily flights from PBIA to Denver in 2007, but stopped the route five months later as a result of the rising cost of jet fuel. The airline filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008 -- less than a month after leaving PBIA.
Airport officials plan to work with the county's Tourist Development Council to market the new service -- especially in Denver where residents have not had a direct link to Palm Beach County.
As part of an incentive package, airport officials have agreed to waive Frontier's landing fees and gate charges for up to two years, Pelly said.
Pelly said it is important for local residents to support the new flights, instead of those offered at other airports in South Florida. Frontier's success in Palm Beach County will help lure other airlines and non-stop service to PBIA, he said.
"The important part is for you to buy these tickets," Pelly said. "Don't drive south to fly north." ------ (c)2014 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.) Visit The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.) at www.palmbeachpost.com Distributed by MCT Information Services