Frontier Airlines Halts Flights in Albany

Aug. 12, 2022

Aug. 11—ALBANY — Frontier Airlines will end service from Albany International Airport after Oct. 4, airport officials said Thursday.

Since boosting its direct flights to locations in Florida and Denver over the past two years, Frontier Airlines has been doing well at the airport, with planes sometimes full of passengers.

"They were doing OK here," said airport spokesman Doug Myers. Actually, Frontier's business in Albany had risen 104 percent compared to their pre-pandemic numbers.

However, following a costly but ultimately fruitless attempt to merge with Spirit Airlines, Frontier is doing cutbacks nationwide.

After Oct. 4, they will "pause" all flights from Albany, with no indication as to when or if they may resume service.

Flights from Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse are also being halted.

While this means travelers will no longer be able to fly directly on Frontier to Denver, Orlando and Tampa, the airline was actually a small component of the airport's menu of options.

They made up just 3 percent of Albany International's total flights and 1 percent of its revenue, said Myers.

The pullout does, however, end any direct service from Albany to Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

Three other airlines still provide service to Orlando, noted Myers.

Frontier over the past several months had been locked in a struggle with JetBlue to merge with Spirit Airlines.

According to various written reports, Frontier had put in a $350 million "break-up fee," similar to a non-refundable deposit, to try and complete the merger. But they were outbid last month by JetBlue, which upped that fee to $400 million and prompted Frontier to drop out of the bidding and regroup.

JetBlue has since announced plans to move ahead with the acquisition of Spirit, which, pending government approval, would create the nation's fifth-largest airline.

While the chaos hasn't hit Albany, travelers at larger hub airports nationally are still reeling from flight delays, backups and cancellations as the industry struggles to re-staff after layoffs at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An estimated 4,000 flights nationally have been canceled since last week, due to pilot and other staff shortages, as well as thunderstorm disruptions.

Albany airport officials said they are confident that Frontier could eventually return to the airport, given that they are a signatory, or considered to be principal carrier at the facility.

[email protected] 518 454 5758 @RickKarlinTU


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