Frontier Airlines to suspend Provo airport flights

Published: Friday, Sept. 14 2012 9:30 p.m. MDT

In this Monday, Feb. 22, 2010, file photo, Frontier Airlines jetliners sit stacked up at gates along the A concourse at Denver International Airport. Frontier Airlines is cutting costs and with it, flights in and out of Provo.

Associated Press

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PROVO — Frontier Airlines is cutting costs and with it, flights in and out of the city.

The company announced its intent to suspend service to the Provo Municipal Airport beginning Jan. 7, as part of a fleet reduction, Provo Mayor John Curtis said Friday. The airline will pull out of the city just 15 months after it first landed there in 2011.

Curtis said city officials were told by Frontier that the airline hopes to resume flights in and out of Provo in the future.

"We had a great relationship with them," said airport manager Steve Gleason. "I'm really sad they're not going to be servicing this airport anymore."

Gleason said Frontier's flights out of Provo — to and from Denver — were 75 percent full, which would typically lead to additional flights, not canceling them altogether.

"We felt like the market was emerging and was constantly getting better," he said.

Frontier began daily service at the Provo airport in 2011 with a 99-seat aircraft. Earlier this year, the airline announced it would start sending a 140-seat airbus to the airport in January.

Instead, Frontier updated its schedule on Sept. 9, and no flights to or from Provo are offered after Jan. 7.

"We've enjoyed a great relationship with Provo," Frontier Airlines spokeswoman Lindsey Carpenter said, adding that the decision to discontinue service was "difficult" and is "due to business reasons."

Curtis said the company's decision has more to do with finances and internal restructuring than with passenger loads. He said Frontier is in the process of selling their smaller airplanes, some of which served Provo.

"While disappointing, this is just a temporary setback," Curtis said. "The Provo flights were often full, proving that there is a demand for the service."

He said the city is working to bring another airline to its airport. Besides Denver, officials say Phoenix and Southern California are destinations high on the list.

"It's a high priority for us," Curtis said. "We're going to put all of our efforts into getting somebody back here."

Alex Cabrero, Jeff Finley, Twitter: ksl_alexcabrero, @FinleyJY

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