In a setback for Sacramento International Airport, struggling Frontier Airlines says it plans to suspend its only Sacramento service between Sacramento and Denver in January. Final flights are scheduled for Jan. 7.
Frontier officials declined detailed comment on the reasons for the flight cancellations. They acknowledged they have decided to pull out of several cities but declined Monday to say how many.
"The decision is based on our business plan and the overall performance of the route as compared to the rest of our network," spokeswoman Lindsey Carpenter said in an email.
Frontier currently operates from one to three flights each weekday between Sacramento and Denver.
Local airport officials downplayed the loss. Frontier accounts for 3 percent of flights from Sacramento International, they said.
"Any loss in service is disappointing," airport spokeswoman Linda Cutler said. "But it isn't a significant blow."
Southwest, United and US Airways continue to fly between Sacramento and Denver.
Sacramento International charges airlines high fees and rents compared to most airports, to help pay for the facility's recent $1 billion terminal expansion. Cutler said that appears to have played a role in Frontier's decision.
"They have had their financial issues," Cutler said. "They are trying to transform themselves into an ultra-low-cost carrier, and we are not a great market, with our recent expansion, for ultra-low-cost carriers."
Airport officials said the fees Sacramento charges airlines will be reduced over time as construction debt is paid off.
The Associated Press reported Monday that Frontier also is canceling service between Provo, Utah, and Denver after Jan. 7, and the Akron Beacon Journal reported the airline plans to leave that city's airport to consolidate operations in nearby Cleveland. The Denver Post reported Monday that Frontier also had canceled flights from Denver to Philadelphia and from Denver to Louisville, Ky.
According to AP, Frontier cited "competitive reasons" for leaving Provo but declined further comment. Provo Mayor John Curtis said that Frontier is reducing its fleet of smaller aircraft.
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Tony Bizjak
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at email@example.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.