US low-fare carrier Frontier Airlines is to launch flights between its Denver International Airport hub and Cincinnati’s Northern Kentucky International Airport as it partly restructures its operations in southwestern Ohio. The six times weekly link will be introduced from May 16, 2013 and will be operated using a 168-seat Airbus A320 but at the same time its existing flight to Dayton International Airport will be closed as it consolidates its activities at a single airport.
Frontier launched services to Dayton in August 2005 but reduced its schedule to just a daily frequency from January 3, 2013 due to increasing competition on the route. After holding a monopoly in this market for over four years Frontier was joined by United Airlines on the route in February 2010 and more recently by Southwest Airlines in August 2012.
The US carrier already has a presence at Northern Kentucky International Airport providing leisure links to Cancun, Mexico and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for Apple Vacations and the introduction of the new hub link to Denver will enable it to more efficiently serve these combined markets.
"We are excited that Frontier has chosen Cincinnati’s Northern Kentucky International Airport as a new market on their expanding network. Our customers have been asking for a low-cost carrier option, and this new non-stop service is a great compliment to our existing airline partners,” said Candace S. McGraw, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Kentucky International Airport.
Frontier will compete directly with two US majors on the new route: Delta Air Lines currently serves the market with a mix of mainline and regional equipment of partner carrier Pinnacle Airlines, while United Airlines has a daily link using a GoJet Airlines Bombardier CRJ700. An estimated 69,000 bi-directional O&D passengers travelled on the route in the 12 months until November 2012, a figure that is expected to grow notably following the introduction of the low-fare service. The arrival of Frontier will boost seat capacity by between 75 per cent and 112 per cent depending upon month of travel.
Frontier Airlines has also confirmed the resumption of flights between Denver and McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville. The airline started to reduce capacity on the route which was launched in June 2011, late last year and suspended operations from December 9, 2012 due to the lower demand during the winter months. The seasonal link will restart from May 17, 2013 once again ending the monopoly of United Airlines which offers a daily service on the route through regional partner ExpressJet Airlines.