WINDSOR LOCKS — Frontier Airlines will return to Bradley International Airport in 2019, adding three flights a week to Denver starting March 28, officials announced Tuesday morning.
Frontier will be the third airline with direct flights to Denver from Bradley. Southwest Airlines and United Airlines already offer service there.
Frontier is based in Denver, and connections to more than 100 destinations are available from there, the airline said.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Connecticut Airport Authority Executive Director Kevin Dillon, and other airport officials held a news conference in the Bradley terminal to announce the new routes. Dillon said terms are still being finalized, but could include one-year waivers of landing fees and terminal rent, which are common when a new carrier adds routes to an airport. He said marketing worth up to $100,000 could also be provided by the airport to promote Frontier’s Denver flight.
Flights will be offered Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and fares will be offered for as low as $59.
“It’s another step forward for our transportation system and it’s another step forward for our ability to be connected to the rest of the world,” Malloy said. “Our future as a state is linked directly to our transportation system and as we invest in Bradley Airport we are helping businesses large and small.”
Frontier Vice President of Network and Revenue Josh Flyr said the company flew between Bradley and Denver in 2007 and 2008, but ended the flight due to rising fuel prices and the global recession. There was also a short-lived flight from Bradley to Milwaukee in 2011, he said.
Frontier is under new ownership since then, and has emerged as an “ultra low cost” carrier that also prioritizes customer service, Flyr said.
“A lot has changed since Frontier last served Hartford,” Flyr said. “We are in many ways a new Frontier. We’re a Frontier that’s committed to the idea that travel should be accessible and affordable for all, and that getting a great low fare and having outstanding customer service need not be inconsistent.”
Flyr said his flight to Bradley on Monday proved the value of Frontier’s new route coming next year. His ticket, booked more than seven days in advance, cost more than $1,000 and a delay in the midwest extended the trip from Denver to 14 hours and separated him from his luggage.
“It’s a good reminder why Frontier is going to be a great addition here,” Flyr said. “Days like yesterday need not happen anymore.”
Flyr and Dillon said they expect the Denver flight to be a starting point for Frontier to add more destinations from Bradley in the future.
“Frontier is a great addition to our menu of service here. Their ultra low cost model is really going to do wonderful things for fares here at Bradley Airport,” Dillon said.
He said Denver is already a busy destination from Connecticut, and there’s a clear demand for more options to get there.
“We know it’s a popular destination,” Dillon said. “The load factors on [the existing] carriers are very high, meaning there is a need for additional capacity so we’re expecting Frontier to do very well in that market.”
The flight from Bradley International Airport to Denver International Airport takes 4 hours, 30 minutes, and the return flight takes 3 hours, 30 minutes.
“It’s a key connecting hub for us, certainly out to the west coast,” Dillon said.