Delaware governor’s schedule shows Frontier Airlines returning to New Castle airport

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NEW CASTLE, Del.  |  Frontier Airlines is returning service to Delaware, almost five years after it ended its operation in the state, according to the governor’s schedule.

Gov. John Carney’s schedule for this week said he will attend an event Tuesday at the Wilmington- New Castle Airport where Frontier Airlines will announce the restoration of its service to the airport, beginning this spring.

A Frontier spokesperson told the News Journal of Wilmington in an email that the airline had nothing to add to Carney’s schedule information.

Delaware has been the only state without commercial airline service since Frontier left in June 2015, the newspaper reported. At the time, a Frontier spokesperson said the airline pulled out because it wasn’t profitable in Delaware. He said it would reevaluate if market conditions changed.

Frontier’s first run in Delaware lasted roughly two years. The Denver-based airline once offered flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Houston and Orlando, Fort Myers and Tampa, Florida. By November 2014, only flights to Orlando and Tampa remained.

Stephen Williams, director of airports for the Delaware River and Bay Authority, said in 2015 that passenger counts “proved beyond a doubt” that commercial service out of New Castle is viable.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation, flights to and from seven of Frontier’s eight destinations at the start of 2015 were more than 80% full. An average of more than 140 people were on flights to and from six of those routes.

In October, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer formed a task force to study the future of the airport, as the county must decide whether to renew or end its current agreement with the Delaware River and Bay Authority before June 2020. The authority operates the airport.

Frontier is an ultra low-cost carrier. It charges low-based fares with add-on charges for food, carry-on bags and other services. Frontier has a presence in the Philadelphia and Baltimore airports.