Frontier Airlines will add year-round nonstop flights from Durango to Las Vegas and Denver in June.
The airline plans to begin flying from Durango-La Plata County Airport to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on June 4 and from DRO to Denver International Airport on June 11.
“Adding a fourth major airline at DRO opens up new choices for our community, improves access for visitors and will have a significant impact on our regional economy as we continue to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DRO Aviation Director Tony Vicari in a news release.
Flights to Las Vegas will operate two days per week year-round, with departures on Monday and Friday.
Flights to Denver will operate four days per week during an initial summer seasonal period, with departures on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Frontier will fly the 150-seat Airbus A319.
Visit Frontier’s website, flyfrontier.com, to purchase tickets.
Passengers flying out of Durango will gain access to Frontier’s route network, which includes more than 100 destinations in the U.S. and 31 international destinations.
“We’re excited to announce Frontier’s plans to expand service in our home state of Colorado with new nonstop flights from Durango to Denver and Las Vegas,” said Daniel Shurz, a Frontier Airlines senior vice president.
Vicari said Frontier’s decision to add service at Durango-La Plata County Airport highlights the resilience of the airport’s market and enduring demand for air service in Southwest Colorado.
“An additional carrier in our market fosters healthy competition, resulting in downward pressure on airfares, increased destination and connectivity options, and improved service,” Vicari said.
Vicari said recent additions of Delta Air Lines and Frontier Airlines, on top of existing service by American Airlines and United Airlines increases the need for terminal expansion.
“The existing terminal was constructed in 1988, when traffic was less than half of what it is today,” he said.
The airport has made targeted investments over the past eight years to expand airline office and personnel spaces, expand the aircraft parking apron and expand departure gate space by installing the tensile fabric structure where American Airlines boards.
Those investments and smaller tweaks have allowed the airport absorb growth in passenger traffic, he said.
“With Delta and Frontier entering the market, our terminal will be essentially at capacity,” Vicari said. “All ticket counters will now be occupied as well as all airline office and personnel space.”
Delta will occupy the airport’s final open boarding gate, so the airport will augment the facility to allow for one additional boarding gate for Frontier, he said.
Also, the airport is currently studying concepts to create additional post-screening space in advance of this summer’s added service.
“We will need the community’s patience, understanding and, most importantly, an early arrival to the airport to ensure that we can successfully manage this influx of air service at DRO,” Vicari said. “While DRO remains highly convenient for local travelers, these many new flight options mean that passengers must arrive 90 to 120 minutes prior to their scheduled departure in order to avoid a missed flight.”
Durango-La Plata County Airport served 390,000 passengers in 2019 and operates as an enterprise fund of the city of Durango. It is funded by airline rents, landing fees, ticket fees, terminal concessions, ground leases, parking fees, fuel sales and rents from other tenants.
The airport does not receive funding from local taxes.