Frontier adding Atlanta, subtracting 2 services from Colorado Springs schedule

In this photograph taken late Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, a Frontier Airlines plane lands on a runway at Denver International Airport. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Frontier Airlines will launch nonstop seasonal flights three days a week on April 8 to Atlanta, but at the same time will end service to Los Angeles and San Jose, Calif., as the Denver-based, low-fare carrier continues to adjust its Colorado Springs schedule.

The Atlanta service will start with one-way fares of $49 that must be purchased by 9:59 p.m. Monday for travel between April 8 and June 13 on selected days. The flights will operate Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, leaving Colorado Springs at 10:19 a.m. and arriving in Atlanta at 3:19 p.m. The return flight leaves Atlanta at 4:03 p.m. and arrives in the Springs at 5:27 p.m.

Delta Air Lines also operates daily nonstop flights between Colorado Springs and Atlanta. The flights have operated with high load factors, which is the percentage of seats sold, but Delta cannot easily add flights in Atlanta due to a lack of available gates at the world's busiest airport, said Greg Phillips, aviation director for the city of Colorado Springs. Frontier saw an opportunity to capture some of that demand, he said.

"Frontier continues to show their commitment to Colorado Springs and the Southern Colorado community. The growth of Frontier at COS (Colorado Springs Airport) illustrates the local community's appreciation of these additional flight options and that they are utilizing them for their travel plans," Phillips said in a news release.

Frontier isn't the only airline adding flights - United Airlines will add a second daily nonstop flight to Houston in June and the Chicago-based carrier is discussing other schedule additions with the airport, Phillips said.

The changes will leave Frontier with nonstop flights to 10 cities from the Springs.

The San Jose flight was not scheduled to start until April, when Frontier also plans to begin nonstop flights to Minneapolis, San Antonio and Seattle and resume seasonal flights to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. Frontier began nonstop flights to Los Angeles in June.

"This empowers more people than ever in Southern Colorado to fly," Frontier spokesman Richard Oliver said in the release. Colorado Springs travelers have "embraced" Frontier's growing local service since the carrier returned to the Springs nearly two years ago with a single daily nonstop flight to Las Vegas, he said.

Airport passenger numbers have surged since Frontier's return, increasing every month from the same month a year earlier through December. Outbound passenger traffic last year was up 29.3 percent from 2016, to nearly 840,000 - the highest annual total since 2010, with Frontier responsible for nearly 90 percent of the increase. Frontier's expansion also helped reduce the city's average fare in the third quarter to the lowest level in nearly 20 years, according to data released last month by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

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