Frontier Airlines suspending Sacramento service
Published Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2012
In a setback for Sacramento International Airport, struggling Frontier Airlines says it plans to suspend its only Sacramento service – between Sacramento and Denver – in January. Final flights are scheduled for Jan. 7. Frontier officials declined detailed comment on the reasons for the flight cancellations. They acknowledged they have decided to pull out of several cities but declined Monday to say how many.
“The decision is based on our business plan and the overall performance of the route as compared to the rest of our network,” spokeswoman Lindsey Carpenter said in an email.
Frontier currently operates from one to three flights each weekday between Sacramento and Denver.
Local airport officials downplayed the loss. Frontier accounts for 3 percent of flights from Sacramento International, they said.
“Any loss in service is disappointing,” airport spokeswoman Linda Cutler said. “But it isn’t a significant blow.”
Southwest, United and US Airways continue to fly between Sacramento and Denver.
Sacramento International charges airlines high fees and rents compared to most airports, to help pay for the facility’s recent $1 billion terminal expansion. Cutler said that appears to have played a role in Frontier’s decision.
“They have had their financial issues,” Cutler said. “They are trying to transform themselves into an ultra-low-cost carrier, and we are not a great market, with our recent expansion, for ultra-low-cost carriers.”
Airport officials said the fees Sacramento charges airlines will be reduced over time as construction debt is paid off.
The Associated Press reported Monday that Frontier also is canceling service between Provo, Utah, and Denver after Jan. 7, and the Akron Beacon Journal reported the airline plans to leave that city’s airport to consolidate operations in nearby Cleveland. The Denver Post reported Monday that Frontier also had canceled flights from Denver to Philadelphia and from Denver to Louisville, Ky.
According to AP, Frontier cited “competitive reasons” for leaving Provo but declined further comment. Provo Mayor John Curtis said that Frontier is reducing its fleet of smaller aircraft.
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