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Frontier Airlines adds 11 new destinations out of Tampa Intl. Airport

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Frontier Airlines, one of the country’s preeminent low-cost airlines, announced a major expansion of service on Tuesday, including service to 11 cities from Tampa International Airport.

“We’re going to have something set up now where over 90 percent of America will be within one hour of a Frontier flight to anywhere else in the U.S.,” said Howard Diamond, general counsel for Frontier Airlines, at a press conference held at TIA. “And the important point is we picked Tampa where we’re adding the most flights of any city in the U.S.”

Frontier will now have direct flights to 18 U.S. cities in all, 11 of them new destinations (see below).

“We have new cities that we’ve never served,” gushed Tampa International CEO Joe Lopano, specifically mentioning that the airport will now have for the first-time a direct flight to Colorado Springs.

“They could not have made this announcement without the strength of the market,” added Chris Minner, the airport’s VP of marketing.

Frontier’s hub is in Denver, and they’ve actually added more service there with their new expansion, as they will now offer 20 new destinations from Denver International Airport.

Along with Tampa, cities that will have more Frontier planes flying from their airports are in Cincinnati, Austin, Long Island/Islip N.Y., Miami, Orlando, Milwaukee, Providence and San Antonio. Each of those cities is slated to get anywhere from six to 12 new routes in Frontier’s latest expansion.

All told, Frontier is now adding 21 cities to its network, and doubling the number of routes it currently has.

Diamond boasted that Frontier’s fleet is the youngest in the industry, with the average age of their aircraft at about three and a half years old.

Frontier is said to have the second lowest average rate per plane ticket in the country, only behind Spirit Airlines but better than Allegiant.  Diamond said the reason Frontier can offer such low prices is by being “aggressive” in figuring out ways to cut costs.

Frontier offers options a la carte or in one low-priced bundled called The WORKS. This bundle includes refundability, a carry-on bag, a checked bag, the best available seat, waived change fees and priority boarding. The other way is a la carte, “and that basic airfare is extremely low, lower than any other airline,” said Diamond.

Courtesy of USA Today, here are the new cities Frontier is flying from Tampa, with the date when that service will begin: Buffalo (Dec. 6); Columbus, Ohio (Dec. 17); Colorado Springs (no date listed); Indianapolis (Nov. 12); Long Island/Islip, N.Y. (Oct. 5); Kansas City (Dec. 16); Milwaukee (Nov. 10); Minneapolis/St. Paul (Oct. 5); Nashville (Dec. 17); Providence (Oct. 5); St. Louis (Oct. 5)

Meanwhile, parking has now become a premium at the airport as construction continues on the airport’s master plan. Before the announcement was made about the new Frontier flights, Lopano said he is happy that the project is now underway because of the record growth happening at TIA right now.

“We’re now seeing record breaking numbers and we’re at a point where we can deliver new capacity and allow for new growth,” he said. “The last thing we want to do is not allow growth at this airport.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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