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Frontier to suspend many routes from Delaware later this year

Frontier Airlines will cut the number of destinations it serves from Delaware significantly later this year.

Weeks after marking its one year anniversary in the First State, Frontier is seasonally suspending service to Denver, Chicago, Atlanta and Fort Myers, Florida from New Castle Airport as of December 12th. It will consider resuming those routes in the spring.

Frontier previously announced in May it is suspending flights from Wilmington to Detroit effective September 21, and will examine bringing that route back in the spring as well.

Frontier will add one additional flight per week to Orlando and Tampa during the winter, but will use smaller planes on those routes.

New Castle Airport director Steve Williams says these types of changes are not unexpected from airline built on providing low-fare service.

“They are the type of airline that in the quest for low fares are always going to be looking for the effective sweet spot, the correct match of supply and demand. And they’re apt to make decision more quickly than the traditional network carriers,” said Williams. “This type of service adjustment where there’s increases in certain frequencies and suspensions in other markets seasonally is the new normal, as I call it.”

Williams adds he is “not concerned at all” about the suspended routes being resumed in the spring and believes passengers will return with them as they hunt for low fares.

“What matters to people these days are for low fares,” said Williams. “So when we reintroduce really low fares and new destinations in the spring, I think people will forget about what they heard in July 2014 and say – Wow, that’s a really great fare to Denver, a really great fare to Chicago or Orlando, where I really need to go and they’ll be right back here.”

He notes Frontier has already serves over 200,000 passengers at New Castle Airport in its first year and says service from the Wilmington area is making money.

Frontier officials told Delaware Public Media by email that the changes to the schedule do not reflect any change in Frontier’s belief in the Wilmington market, adding “both the airport and community have been supportive of our brand of low fares and we look forward to continuing to serve the market.”