Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Frontier Airlines bypasses valley?for now

Decision despite $400,000 sweetener from local business community

Express Staff Writer

Frontier Airlines on Tuesday announced plans to extend service from Denver to cities in four states—but daily flights into Friedman Memorial Airport were not on the list.

Using its new 74-passnger Q400 propjet airlines, Frontier said it would add service in October to Sioux City, Iowa; Rapid City, S.D., Billings, Mont., and Wichita, Kans., all new markets for Frontier.

The airline also is expected to launch in-state Colorado service to Aspen, Steamboat Springs and Colorado Springs with the Q400 aircraft, flying under the flag of its subsidiary, Lynx Aviation.

Valley business interests, organized as the Fly Sun Valley Alliance, joined some 60 cities in making a pitch for Frontier service. The valley group sweetened its request for service with an estimated $400,000 or more in marketing services to promote Frontier in distant markets.

However, Carol Waller, executive director of the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau, and airline consultant Kent Myers had said in recent weeks that Frontier would probably not provide service to the valley until next summer.

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