Not reported at the time: The flight is seasonal. It began in May and will stop running as of November 13, 2019, for a winter hiatus before resuming in spring 2020, an airline spokesperson told Seven Days. Two days after the route is suspended, the discount airline will again offer its seasonal cold-weather flight from BTV to Orlando, Fla.
"We’ve been very happy with the results we’ve seen so far and look forward to continuing our success at BTV," Zach Kramer, Frontier's manager of corporate communications, wrote in an email.
BTV deputy director Nic Longo said both routes have been extremely popular and fuller than the industry's average. The airport has been pushing Frontier to offer year-round service to both destinations, Longo said, though it likely won’t happen this year.
“What we want as an airport, and what we can justify with data, is that they ... can support year-round service to both of those destinations because the demand is there for it,” Longo said. “Obviously, it’s not our decision, but it’s something we support.”
The update on the Denver flight comes shortly after BTV officials tallied passenger numbers for the fiscal year that ended June 30. According to Longo, nearly 693,000 passengers flew out of BTV last year, about 11 percent higher than the previous year’s total of 623,000. The most recent figure far surpasses the next highest annual total for at least the last decade, which was 652,000 in 2012, according to Longo.
The surge has led to long lines and missed flights, as Seven Days reported last month. The airport is using $300,000 to connect its two security checkpoints so that one can relieve the other during the busiest times, usually the early morning hours when several flights take off within roughly two hours.
Longo said a good economy, added capacity in planes and more frequent flights have driven the increases. Airlines have been favoring larger planes over the smaller regional jets most Vermont travelers had gotten used to over the years. And added routes such as Denver — which United Airlines also offers on a seasonal basis — mean travelers have more choices for nonstop destinations.