Frontier Airlines this spring will add two uninterrupted trips to both coasts from Tulsa.
Starting April 10, the Denver-based, low-fare carrier will offer the only nonstop service to the Bay Area with flights to San Jose, California (SJC), and flights to Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) just outside of Washington, D.C.
The new routes come just months after Frontier announced new service to Denver (DEN), Orlando, Florida (MCO), and the only nonstop service to San Diego (SAN). All new flights will begin in April — Denver and Orlando flights start March 15 — and the airline is celebrating with its famous low fares from $39.
“Even though we have yet to start service, the Tulsa community has already embraced our unique brand of ‘Low Fares, Done Right,’ ” Louis Ligon, director for Frontier Airlines, said in a statement.
“We are committed to making flying affordable for everyone, and, in fact, our introductory fares are about 75 percent less than the current fares available on other airlines to fly to the Bay Area or Washington, D.C., from Tulsa. We look forward to serving T-Town with the lowest fares in the industry and a great travel experience.”
Frontier, city and airport officials marked the announcement Thursday morning with a news conference at Tulsa International Airport. The San Jose and Washington flights will be offered Wednesdays and Sundays.
“Air service connectivity is a key driver for Tulsa to grow and thrive in the global marketplace,” Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a statement. “For the first time in history, Tulsa will have nonstop service to the Bay Area through San Jose, and we will be adding additional service to Washington, D.C., through Dulles. I want to thank Frontier Airlines for recognizing the value of investing in Tulsa and providing more opportunity for our residents, business community and the entire region.”
Jeff Stava, chairman of Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust and Tulsa’s Future, praised Frontier’s move.
“Our city is growing and our need for direct flights is key to continue that growth,” he said in a statement. “Frontier’s willingness to expand their service with the addition of two new markets is exciting for Tulsa.”
At his installation in January, Tulsa Regional Chamber Chairman Steve Bradshaw described increasing direct flights at the airport as a pragmatic area of focus and that he would like to see the addition of at least one nonstop flight this year to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia or Seattle.
Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, referenced Bradshaw’s remarks in a statement Thursday, saying: “Relocating or expanding companies regularly consider the number and frequency of nonstop destinations when evaluating prospective cities. These additional flights will help the Chamber better make the case for companies to build out their workforces here rather than in other markets.”
Frontier offers customers the ability to customize their travel to their needs and budget. For example, customers can purchase options a la carte or in one low-priced bundle called the WORKSsm. The bundle offers Frontier’s most popular options for as low as $59 each way and includes refundability, a carry-on bag, a checked bag, the best available seat, waived change fees and priority boarding.
“This is great news for Tulsa travelers,” Tulsa International Airport CEO Mark VanLoh said in a statement. “Frontier will soon serve five cities from Tulsa International Airport — bringing our total number of nonstop cities served up to 21. There has never been a better time to fly from Tulsa International Airport.”
The news comes as passenger volume at TIA increased last year by 2.7 percent, making it the busiest year since 2009. A total of 2,885,327 passengers arrived or departed from the airport in 2017.