Steamboat not part of new Frontier | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat not part of new Frontier

Lynx Aviation announces eight new regional destinations

Staff report

Denver-based Frontier Airlines today announced eight new regional destinations to be serviced via nonstop flights from Denver International Airport. Steamboat Springs was not on the list.

— Steamboat Springs is not one of eight new destinations for Frontier Airlines’ regional subsidiary Lynx Aviation.

Frontier officials announced the new destinations during a news conference at 8:30 a.m. today at the Pepsi Center in Denver. The eight new cities to be serviced by regional Frontier flights are Aspen; Colorado Springs; Grand Junction; Durango; Bozeman, Mont.; Missoula, Mont.; Fargo, N.D.; and Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Local officials had been optimistic Steamboat Springs and the Yampa Valley would be part of the expansion. That optimism waned recently, particularly after Frontier’s fiscal report for the third quarter of 2007. The airline reported a net loss of $32.5 million, including $4.8 million in start-up costs, schedule readjustments and other losses for Lynx, and $3.5 million stemming from increased fuel costs.

“We have been and remain in a very good position with Frontier,” Intrawest Chief Marketing Officer Andy Wirth said earlier this month at Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp’s ninth annual Airline Partners Summit. “But what we’re seeing is a re-think of their business model.”

However, Frontier’s announcement today includes nonstop service between Denver International Airport and four Colorado destinations – Colorado Springs, Aspen, Durango and Grand Junction. The Colorado Springs flights will begin April 15; flights to the other three Colorado destinations will begin May 15.

The flights will utilize Frontier’s new fleet of Bombardier Q400 aircraft. Denver-based Frontier says the new service could reduce the average fare in some of its new markets by as much as 50 percent.

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“Frontier’s new service is great news for Colorado, and it’s even better news for travelers from around the country seeking to visit Colorado’s top destinations,” Gov. Bill Ritter said in a statement.

Frontier service to Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden would have competed directly with United Airlines, the only YVRA carrier that offers daily flights to Denver.