Frontier Airlines offers low fares, but adds fees for things such as seat selection, carry-ons and checked luggage.

Less than a month after its first flight from Portland, ultra low-cost Frontier Airlines plans new flights to Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Frontier will start service to Tampa and Fort Myers in November, according to a news release from the Portland International Jetport Wednesday.

“We are proud to grow our commitment and bring even more low fares to the area, now with an additional two, non-stop destinations,” Frontier spokesman Richard Oliver said in the news release. “We appreciate the ongoing support of the airport and the community at large, and we’re proud to serve Portland with some of the lowest fares in the industry and a great travel experience.”

Frontier advertises steeply discounted flights, but passengers have to pay extra for items such as $30 to $60 for carry-on luggage or $6 to $25 to select a seat.

Flights from Portland to Denver, Colorado and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, started on July 10. It will add flights to Orlando next week.

Oliver did not respond to interview requests or emailed questions Wednesday.


Frontier’s seasonal service to Denver and Raleigh/Durham will likely wind down in November as it starts flights to Florida, said assistant airport director Zachary Sundquist. The company plans to keep year-round flights to Orlando, he added.

“Having just one month of service and already expanding is promising,” Sundquist said. Frontier flights, especially to Denver, appear to be popular.

“We don’t have final numbers for them yet, but going out on the concourse when one is boarding, I’d say if they weren’t sold out they were pretty close.”

Many researchers have found that when low-cost airlines, like Southwest or JetBlue, enter a market, it reduces overall airfare and increases the overall number of passengers. Ultra low-cost carriers such as Frontier have an even greater effect, pulling down overall fares in a market by as much as 21 percent, according to a 2016 study from the International Center for Air Transportation at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The study further found that ultra low-cost carriers are three times more likely to leave a market two years after starting flights.

But Sundquist said Frontier’s presence in Portland is unlikely to have an effect on other airline prices. Boston’s Logan airport, with its much greater capacity, is more of a driver of fare prices than any one carrier in Portland and its influence, Sundquist said.

The jetport wanted to bring in an airline that would fly to undeserved locations like Florida, North Carolina and states west of the Mississippi, not necessarily a company with cheap tickers, he added.


“Frontier is an ultra low-cost carrier that serves a lot of those markets, so it worked out,” he said.

Flights to Fort Myers will be on Mondays and Fridays and flights to Tampa will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, according to a Frontier schedule.

Portland International Jetport has been steadily expanding carriers and flight options in recent years. It set a passenger record in 2017, when 1.8 million people flew through the airport.

Peter McGuire can be reached at 791-6325 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

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