Bonnie Arbittier / Rivard Report
Frontier Airlines announced Thursday it will soon begin offering a new nonstop flight to Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina, bringing to 14 the number of destinations the low-cost carrier provides from the San Antonio International Airport (SAT).
The new flights to Raleigh-Durham begin April 9, and add to Frontier’s previously announced new service starting this spring to Cincinnati, Ohio; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and San Jose, California.
“... Raleigh-Durham is a large unserved destination for San Antonio, with over 60,000 travelers between RDU and SAT each year," said Russ Handy, the City's aviation director. "This new service is an huge win for San Antonio and our surrounding communities.”
There are currently 44 nonstop destinations from San Antonio’s airport, including four cities in Mexico and Toronto, Canada.
Last year, more than 9 million passengers flew through the airport here, the highest number in history, exceeding the annual record set the previous year when more than 8.6 million passengers traveled through SAT, according to airport officials.
December was also a record-breaking month for the city's airport, with nearly 800,000 passengers counted and the opening of a new $43 million short-term parking garage.
Airport officials attribute the growth to 20 new flights that have either been added or announced at SAT since 2016.
In January, the airport opened a new rental car facility for travelers to access rental cars in one on-site location. The $178 million short-term garage is on the first two levels of the facility and the next five levels are designated rental car areas.
Also last month, Mayor Ron Nirenberg announced the formation of an Airport System Development Committee, which will meet for the first time later this month to plan for the future of the airport, including possible airline incentives, development of a regional airport with Austin, and collaborations with Port San Antonio and Joint Base San Antonio.
Nirenberg appointed John Dickson, principal of local cybersecurity firm Denim Group, as chair of the 21-member committee comprised of community and business representatives, including aviation industry leaders.
With Thursday’s announcement, Frontier will become the San Antonio airport's No. 2 carrier in numbers of destinations served. The airline also announced plans to expand its current service to Atlanta.
Raleigh-Durham International is the main airport serving the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, otherwise known as “The Triangle,” a region that is home to many high-tech companies, research institutions, military, and universities.
Flights to Raleigh-Durham are available for purchase on Frontier's website with introductory fares as low as $39 each way – with restrictions – for travel between April 8 and June 13.
“We are so proud of our continued growth here," stated Trista Miller, director of customer care for Frontier Airlines, "and to now be the second largest carrier by destinations served is an honor.”