Frontier to begin HIA flights to Orlando in MayJim T. Ryan
Frontier's four flights a week will be a replacement for AirTran Airways, which plans to leave HIA in August as part of restructuring related to its acquisition by Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. last year.
HIA announced Feb. 9 that Frontier would be the airport's latest airline offering a new direct flight service to Denver beginning May 22. A revenue guarantee will be used to reduce upfront risk Frontier is taking on the Denver service, but that will not apply to the Orlando service, according to HIA.
That service already has seen some success and it helped Frontier make the decision to pick up the Orlando route, said Gregory D. Aretakis, vice president of revenue production for Frontier.
"The Harrisburg-Denver route has been much better in future bookings than we expected," he said.
HIA staff has been working with Frontier for three years to bring them to the airport, Executive Director Tim Edwards said.
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Frontier's suggestion to begin the Orlando flights in May means there will be two airlines flying the route, he said. It will be a good thing for ticket prices and passenger options, and it will help the region become more familiar with Frontier before AirTran leaves, he said.
The decision also opens more opportunity for Frontier to expand at HIA, or could help attract more airlines to the airport, Edwards said.
Frontier is a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Republic Airways Holdings Inc. The company trades its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol RJET.