Frontier Airlines will now offer daily, nonstop flights to Las Vegas from Colorado Springs beginning in April. Initial introductory fares for a one-way ticket is $19.
Frontier President Barry Biffle, Mayor John Suthers and Colorado Springs Airport Director of Aviation Dan Gallagher announced the new route Tuesday morning before 100 elected officials and others in the hospitality industry at the airport.
“On behalf of the City of Colorado Springs, I am honored to be the first to say welcome back to our great city. We are extremely proud to partner with Frontier Airlines, and we are committed to the success of your business and to meeting the needs of all our air service customers,” Suthers said.
The airlines will make a $10 million investment as a result of the new Colorado Springs route, Biffle said. The expansion from the Denver-based airline will create 10 local jobs. The new flight will boost the airport’s budget by $800,000 during the first year, Gallagher said.
When temperatures rise in Las Vegas during summer months, travelers there can use the service to visit Colorado Springs and its tourist attractions, said Dirk Draper, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance.
Frontier returned to the Colorado Springs market after leaving in 2013, because the costs to fly here have come down dramatically, Biffle said.
Also, Frontier restructured its finances, decreasing its internal costs by one-third, he said.
Because of new commercial business in the Commercial Aeronautical Zone, the land within the airport’s boundaries set aside for commercial development, the cost per passenger that airlines pay to the airport declined to $6.28. Denver’s CPE is around $12, Gallagher said. Frontier’s announcement Tuesday could drop the cost even further, he said, possibly to less than $6.
Those costs relate directly to the cost of the service to customers, Gallagher added.
“Our mantra is supply-side economics,” he said. “If we save costs to the airlines, we save costs for the consumers.”
The special introductory fares for $19 are now available at Flyfrontier.com, said Biffle. Frontier’s investments won’t stop in Colorado Springs.
“We will double the fleet [of aircraft] in the next couple of years,” said Biffle. Frontier will have 64 aircraft flying by the end of this year and 120 by the end of the decade.
The number of daily Frontier flights from Colorado Springs may expand within the first year, depending on the demand, Biffle said.
“Where do you want us to fly?” he asked, adding that the carrier might look into flights to Phoenix, California and locations in the central time zone.
Frontier joins United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines and Allegiant in regular service at the Colorado Springs airport.
Consumers who now drive to Denver seeking lower fares will find less-expensive options now at the Springs airport because they won’t have the costs of gas, the toll road, parking and the drive-time involved, he said.
Additional airport news
The airport is also courting other airlines, he said.
If negotiations are successful, the costs per enplanement could decrease to $3 by 2017-18, making it even less expensive for passenger carriers here.
The airport hired a new parking contractor to save 50 percent in costs in that area of operations, he added.