July 17, 2012
Effective November 15, low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines will discontinue service at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. Frontier made this decision due to “below average performance of the route. Frontier is focused on being a sustainably profitable airline and, therefore; will continue to focus on markets that consistently perform well.” The last flight will depart at 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 15.
Frontier began service in Wichita in October 2007, originally serving the market with 76-seat Q400 aircraft. Frontier upgraded to 76-seat E170 aircraft in April 2010 and to a 99-seat E190 aircraft in May 2011.
Frontier had a slow start during its first two years of service, having to deal with the challenges of high fuel prices and the economic downturn. However, in 2010, travel demand increased and Frontier’s performance improved dramatically.
Republic Airways, which owns Frontier, wishes to sell the airline, plus Frontier has fleet availability issues, which factored into their decision to exit the market. Fares to the top western markets are 24% less than before Frontier entered our market. Passenger traffic is up 25% to those top markets.
“We are extremely disappointed that Frontier made this decision. Our passengers have enjoyed their outstanding customer service, low fares and have shown strong support for them the last two years,” said Valerie Wise, Air Service and Business Development Manager. “We will work diligently with other carriers to add the needed capacity that Frontier’s departure will leave.”