High fuel prices will continue to erode service to small airports according to a top executive for Frontier Airlines. Speaking recently in Bloomington, Frontier's Planning and Scheduling Director Bob Westgate said the number of flights will continue to contract.
Westgate says Frontier operated 14 small aircraft that seat 40 to 60 people last summer. This summer the number of regional jets Frontier will fly is three. In new Bloomington service to Denver and Orlando Frontier is using 99 seat jets. Westgate says not all regional airports will survive the coming decades as the economics of service dictate longer drive times between airports. He says Frontier looked at several facilities in central Illinois and determined its best chance was service from Bloomington. Westgate says not only are ordinary fuel prices moving higher, but the cost to refine petroleum into higher grades of fuel called the "crack spread" is also increasing.
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