Frontier will fly to 10 more cities from Philly-area airports

Frontier Airlines, Denver, says it will add flights to five new cities through the Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing Township, N.J., and add flights to five more cities from the New Castle Airport just south of Wilmington, Delaware,  increasing competition with the USAirways and Southwest Airlines hubs at Philadelphia International Airport.

The New Castle flights -- four times weekly to Denver, three times weekly to Chicago-Midway and Houston, twice a week each to Orlando and Tampa -- restore commercial air service to Delaware, a state that has been a hub for corporate aviation but only intermittently enjoyed scheduled flights for the public over the years. Governor Jack Markell called it "a welcomed economic opportunity" in a news conference at the airport, which is managed by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, run by politicians from Delaware and New Jersey. U.S. Rep. John Carney, D-Del., said he welcomed "qauality jobs for flight attendants, ground-handling employees, and maintenance tecnhicians." Frontier advertises fares "as low as $49 each way" from Delaware on its European-built Airbus A320 jets.

The new Trenton flights -- Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays to and from Atlanta, all days except Saturday to Chicago/Midway, Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays to Columbus, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays to Detroit, and all days but Saturday to Raleigh-Durham -- double Frontier's new schedule at that airport, where Frontier service began last year. Frontier advertised fares "as low as $49 each way." Frontier is also adding a one-stop to Denver, via Chicago, six days a week. Frontier senior vice president Daniel Schurz in a statement said the smaller airports would prove more convenient to some travelers than Philadelphia and other large airports.

The New Castle airport service is Delaware's first commercially-scheduled airline service since the spring of 2008, when Skybus briefly offered flights, port authority spokesman James Salmon told me. Delta Airlines discontinued service in 2007. He said the authority and Delaware government had not offered Frontier cash incentives.