Republic pursues deal
Given Frontier’s limited schedule of one daily flight, many business travelers seek other options.
Frontier already has pared back its flights to one a day, and will temporarily cease operations after Oct. 29. Frontier is expected to resume service to Durango in early May, although an exact date has not been set, said Kip Turner, the airport’s director of aviation.
Durango’s second-largest private employer is Mercury, with 417 employees locally, and another office in Denver. Since Jan. 1, Mercury has booked 677 flights from Durango to Denver. Of those, only 86 were on Frontier. The company also booked 653 flights from Denver to Durango, and only 80 were on Frontier.
“It would be almost impossible to guess what new ownership would not or would want to do,” he said.
Any major changes by Frontier also could limit passengers’ ability to connect to the rest of the world through DIA. In part because of Frontier’s network of more than 75 destinations, most of which originate from Denver, DIA offers the second-most destinations of any airport in the country, behind only Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
“Mercury and other businesses in Durango would hope to see ever-increasing flexibility for options out of Durango, and we’re headed in the wrong direction,” Taylor said.
Besides Frontier, Durango has three major carriers – United, American and U.S. Airways – flying to three hubs: Denver, Phoenix and Dallas.
“They’re not going to be a business airline,” he said. “You can’t say, ‘I’m not going to make this meeting – I need to wait for May.’”
Frontier Airlines’ future in Durango is far from certain, but local leaders believe Durango-La Plata County Airport has grown enough to weather any…