Frontier Airlines, the Denver-based “low-cost” airline, will be phasing out most of their major flight paths from Colorado Springs in the next month.
Flights to San Diego and Orlando—two of the four major cities the airline has flights to from Colorado Springs—will stop at the end of February. February will also mark the reduction in flights from Colorado Springs Airport to Los Angeles and Phoenix, from six to three and seven to five, respectively.
Kate O’Malley, the head of Frontier’s corporate communications, said that the routes no longer “make economics sense for Frontier.”
She added that the airline looks “forward to continuing to welcome residents from the Colorado Springs area on our nonstop flights departing from Denver,” though the carrier is also stopping flights to Denver from Colorado Springs.
These changes come less than a year after the airline decided to base flights from Colorado Springs to the four western cities, making the local airport a mini-hub focus-city.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that, because of the airline’s changes and the drop of revenue expected as a result, the Colorado Springs Airport is freezing its spending on some equipment, training travel, capital projects, and hiring.
Frontier’s cancellation of the route to Denver leaves United Airlines with a monopoly on flights to the airport to the north, a frequented travel-stop for Colorado College students jet-setting home or to far-away block break destinations.
“From the airport’s perspective, we don’t see this as an opportunity for United [Airlines] to raise fares, but for other airlines to fly more destinations to their hubs,” said Agnes Blachut, Airport Public Affairs Administrator at the Colorado Springs Airport.
Though they cannot disclose the specifics for business reasons, Blachut says the airport is always talking to other airlines and seeking out other carriers. When Frontier cut-back their service, those talks heated up.
“We know that the demand is there, whether it is through Denver or other hubs,” she said.
It is unclear if another airline will fill the coming gap in the market. Though most CC students generally leave from Denver International Airport, many fly in and out of the airport in Colorado Springs.
The announcement in service changes came right when Frontier began to create enterprises in other parts of the country. The airline recently announced that it would be expanding business in Trenton, N.J.—a city that more than a dozen carriers have tried and failed to make economically viable.
The company also has plans to launch hubs in multiple locations in the coming year. O’Malley said, “We consistently look at all of our routes and evaluate them to make sure they [are still viable.]”
Editor-In-Chief Jesse Paul contributed to this story.