Apparently adding New Orleans as a hub for Frontier is being explored. The move is being reported this week in the Times-Picayune with the suggestion that new investors intend to purchase Frontier, rename it and expand its footprint. The plan apparently involved adding more than 100 daily flights to the market, pending approval from the Mayor.
It isn’t clear exactly what sort of approval is pending. Leasing gates and negotiating landing fees seems a pretty straight-forward process. Then again, the company has already negotiated a $50/passenger bounty from the state for delivering additional passengers to Louisiana. Perhaps they are looking for something similar from the City?
Another view is that the city is worried other airlines will bail on the city in the face of competition and then, should the company fail, the city will be worse off in the end.
It is nice to see that someone is looking at expanding service and growing an airline. That said, if the business model is mostly based on subsidies then the long-term effects of the move are actually pretty bad. Short-term low fares for customers in exchange for future bankruptcies and economic upheaval seems like a questionable trade-off in many ways.
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