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Albany International lands new airline, service

Albany International lands new airline, service

New flights to Denver, Orlando on the way
Albany International lands new airline, service
Albany International Airport
Photographer: Gazette file photo

COLONIE -- Frontier Airlines will start serving Albany International Airport in September, airport officials announced Tuesday.

The Denver-based low-cost carrier will start twice-a-week direct service between Albany and Denver on Sept. 17, increasing to three days a week in October.

Frontier also plans to start serving Orlando in October.

Frontier will become the eighth airline serving Albany, joining Southwest, United, American, JetBlue, One Jet, Cape Air and Elite. Southwest also flies between Albany and Denver.

"Our cost per passenger boarding is the lowest in the Northeast (below $7 per passenger), which positions us to attract low-cost carriers," said John O'Donnell, Albany International Airport's CEO.

O'Donnell said airport officials approached Frontier about five years ago, but negotiations picked up in recent months as the airline pursued what Seth Neuschwander, Frontier's director of planning and revenue analysis, called a "very aggressive" expansion.

"What we do is we pitch the airport, the region and the income demographics, and then it comes down to a financial analysis," O'Donnell said.

Frontier has been expanding aggressively in the Northeast and upstate New York, having added Buffalo service in December and in April announced that Syracuse service will start in July.

An introductory offer of $44 per seat is available through Wednesday night at flyfrontier.com.

Denver is a hub for Frontier, allowing it to connect flights from there to the West Coast, smaller western cities, and Mexico, said Neuschwander.

"We look forward to making it easier for people to fly, and for people to fly more often," Neuschwander said.

"We hope over time that Frontier won't just be flying to Denver and Orlando, but to other destinations as well," he said.

Frontier uses Airbus 320 jets with 180 or 186 seats, Neuschwander said.

The announcement comes as the Transportation Security Administration is expecting a record summer for air travel, with 243 million people expected to fly, up from 239 million last summer. Albany boardings are growing, but aren't expected to set a record.

The TSA said about 4,500 people per day board flights in Albany in the summer, with high-traffic days topping 5,000. Albany International has nearly 1.4 million boardings per year.

Frontier's Albany to Denver service will begin on Mondays and Fridays starting Sept. 17, and Orlando service will be three times a week -- Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays -- starting on Oct. 2.

Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 518-395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.

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