Nearly 65 Communities Competing for Frontier's New Regional Service

Small airports around the country have thrown their names into Frontier Airlines' hat in the hope that the Denver-based airline will start flying to their communities.

Monday was the deadline for airports to reply to Frontier's request for proposals.

The airline sent the requests to about 65 communities throughout Colorado and within a radius of about 1,200 miles of Denver for flights on the airline's regional jets or turboprop planes that are on order. Frontier has received proposals from almost all of them.

The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport submitted its proposal last week, said Stay Aspen Snowmass president Bill Tomcich.

"We put a lot of time and energy in this proposal, and I believe we had a very compelling case," Tomcich said.

Steamboat is still in discussions with Frontier, said Andy Wirth, vice president of sales and marketing for Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp., with hope of flights starting in the winter of 2007-08. Steamboat is targeting the Q400 turboprop planes for year-round flights, with additional service during the busy winter season.

"The primary scenario that we seem to have come to a verbal agreement on is daily service," Wirth said. Steamboat plans to use funding from the Local Marketing District and the business-backed Fly Steamboat Air Program and, if talks are successful, would eventually like to strike a marketing agreement with Frontier, he said.

Minot International Airport in North Dakota sent its proposal to Frontier last week, offering $251,000 in incentives.

Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming submitted its proposal to Frontier earlier this month.

"Frontier carries a good reputation," said Jackson Hole Airport director Ray Bishop. But due to the seasonal fluctuation of tourist traffic, he said Jackson Hole's chances may be "moderate at best."

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport submitted its proposal to Frontier for service with regional jets.

Greenville-Spartanburg, like some other airports, is conducting a study of the market but isn't offering incentives to Frontier.

The proposals have come in as Frontier starts up a subsidiary to fly 74-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop planes. It is also expanding its regional jet fleet. Frontier expects to announce new routes with its Q400s starting in May.

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