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Frontier Airlines to discontinue flights to Provo


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PROVO —Frontier Airlines is cutting costs and with it, flights in and out of the city.

The company announced its intent to suspend service to the Provo Municipal Airport beginning Jan. 7, as part of a fleet reduction, Provo Mayor John Curtis said Friday. The airline will pull out of the city just 15 months after it first landed there in 2011.

Curtis said the company's decision has more to do with finances and internal restructuring than with passenger loads. He said Frontier is in the process of selling their smaller airplanes, some of which served Provo.

"While disappointing, this is just a temporary setback," Curtis said in news release. "The Provo flights were often full, proving that there is a demand for the service."

According to the airport's numbers, Frontier's flights out of Provo — to and from Denver — were 75 percent full, which would typically lead to additional flights, not canceling them altogether.

"We felt like the market was emerging and was constantly getting better," said Provo Airport Manager Steve Gleason.

Frontier updated its schedule on Sept. 9, and no flights to or from Provo are offered after Jan. 7.

"In most cases, market reductions are due to the service not performing up to market averages, which is the case in Provo," said Frontier spokesperson Lindsey Carpenter. "We don't give out numbers for competitive reasons, but we do not have plans to come back to Provo at this time."

Frontier began daily service at the Provo Airport in 2011 with a 99-seat aircraft. Their first flight included Governor Gary Herbert, Jason Chaffetz and other leaders in the community.

Earlier this year, the airline announced it would start sending a 140-seat airbus to the airport in January.

City and airport officials are looking at other airlines to offer flights out of the Provo Airport, the mayor said.

"It's a high priority for us," Curtis said. "We're going to put all of our efforts into getting somebody back here."

The airline began offering service between Denver and Provo in June 2011.

"We had a great relationship with them," Gleason said. "I'm really sad they're not going to be servicing this airport anymore."

Contributing: Stephanie Grimes

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