Mobile Airport Authority President Chris Curry is the opposite of Charlie Brown this week. As bad news in the airline industry pours down like rain, he and colleagues are only seeing sunshine.
That’s because Frontier Airlines, which left the Mobile market earlier than expected late last month, has announced it’s coming back to the city’s downtown airport with a direct flight to Orlando International Airport, starting Saturday, April 18.
“When we started conversations with Frontier, we talked about Orlando,” Curry said. “We’re glad we got it. I think it’ll be a good destination for us.”
At a press conference Monday afternoon, Mayor Sandy Stimpson said he was “tremendously grateful” to Frontier for coming back to Mobile.
“A flight to Orlando is something that we wanted when they were flying to Chicago and Denver — I wish they’d come back and said they were going to fly to all three but obviously with airline industry being what it is, this is what they could in order to give us something and to get back in business at Brookley,” he said.
At least initially, Curry said, flights would be once-per-week on Saturdays from Brookley. However, the budget airline could expand service once the COVID-19 crisis has ended and the economy stabilizes more.
The advance schedule is made up three weeks in advance already, but Curry expects Frontier to extend the service to, at least, September and maybe longer.
“Everybody is having to get a feel for where we are from an industry standpoint,” he said. “Once airlines in general start to see the economy open back, you’re going to see further adjustments to schedules. As soon as the economy starts to open back up, you’re going to see them add capacity to schedules and Frontier is no different.”
The base, one-way ticket price is set at $11 right now, Curry said. However, the price can change based on what amenities a passenger is seeking. One of Orlando’s biggest attractions, Walt Disney World is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Until this month, Frontier flew direct from Brookley to Denver International Airport and initially flew to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, as well. The announcement Monday afternoon represents a return for the airline that had left slightly earlier than expected.
Jason Johnson contributed to this report.
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