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Frontier Airlines to begin service in Buffalo

Mike Desmond/WBFO

There will soon be a sixth airline flying in and out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport, reversing long-term stagnation in travel as airlines merged. 

Airport Director Bill Vanacek said Frontier Airlines' decision to begin flights later this year bodes well for the facility.

"Additional flights to new destinations will draw another segment of the air traveler to our airport and so it will help us in that venture," he said.

There used to be 10 airlines prior to the Great Recession and a number of airline mergers.

The low-price flier announced Tuesday plans to add  21 new cities and 85 additional routes to its flight schedule, including the Buffalo-based flights. Frontier's Senior Director of Schedule Planning Robert Westgate was in the airport terminal to announce the new local flights.

Credit WBFO file photo
Patrick Kaler, president and CEO, Visit Buffalo Niagara

"We'll be starting out in December, offering service to four very, very popular Florida destinations, including Orlando, Miami, Fort Myers and Tampa. Those routes start up in early December. And, then in the springtime, we'll be offering service between Buffalo and our home airport in Denver, Co., where connections will be possible throughout the Rocky Mountain region and the West Coast."

Westgate says there are direct connections available to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas, among other destinations.

 Visit Buffalo Niagara President and CEO Patrick Kaler said Frontier's decision is good news for regional tourism.

"It's a great opportunity for us, especially with all of the national attention that we have been receiving in travel publications. I think this is great, especially for Miami, the rest of Florida and, now, Denver, to have these direct flights coming into our destination."

Kahler said the new flights offer marketing opportunities to attract football fans from Miami and Tampa who might be enticed to take direct flights to Buffalo for games.

Kaler added that the new flights should make it easier to attract travelers  in the winter and give national associations assurances that visitors can fly here directly to Buffalo is large conventions are landed.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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