Consumers can now book flights with Frontier Airlines, a Denver-based carrier that will be reintroduced to Tulsa International Airport in March, a spokeswoman said.
Frontier discontinued service in Tulsa in April 2010 when it offered flights only to Denver. Nonstop service to Denver (DEN) in 2018 will be available in March, with nonstop flights to San Diego (SAN) and Orlando (MCO) available starting in April, said Alexis Higgins, deputy airports director, marketing and communications.
“They are in the market of the ultra-low cost carrier,” Higgins said by telephone Monday. “They are the type of company that is going to provide leisure travelers — people that perhaps wouldn’t haven chosen to buy an airplane ticket — with the motivation to look at getting on an airplane and going out and exploring the country. Because of their fare structure, they make it extremely affordable for people who otherwise wouldn’t have decided to fly.
“They’ve always had lower fares but ever since they’ve come out of this round of bankruptcy and reorganization, they have really mastered this new business model. That’s good, ultimately, for the consumer.”
This past summer, the airline announced service to 21 new cities, increasing the number of destinations served by the low-fare carrier by 30 percent. Members with a subscription to Discount Den will have access to the carrier’s most inexpensive tickets.
Frontier’s flights will increase from 19 to 21 the number of nonstop destinations served at TIA. Denver is the second most popular destination for Tulsa travelers, with about 420 passengers traveling between the cities each day, Higgins said.
Frontier officials are scheduled to visit TIA this month for a walk-through, she said. Already preparing the property for the new tenant, the airport has ordered a new boarding bridge for Gate B9, where Frontier flights could be stationed, Higgins said.
“When we did the concourse renovations, we made sure to have plenty of gates structured within the reconstruction, but we did not order jet bridges for all those gates,” she said. “So we have ordered a jet bridge.”
The airline also will need to brand itself at a ticket counter.
“Over the years, as airlines have morphed or merged, their ticket counter spaces have merged,” Higgins said. “What that’s done is given us a few options of where we could place Frontier. … Our desire is to meet their cost needs so their costs remain low in Tulsa and then also give them the visibility they need to be successful.”