Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority officials celebrated the first day of service Wednesday by Frontier Airlines at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The carrier will provide service to four Florida cities while offering passengers to choose and pay based on the level of their needs.
Shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday, the first Frontier Airlines flight to Buffalo arrived. About an hour later, the first flight left Buffalo, a direct connection to Tampa.
"We're all very envious that this would be taking place on this cold, snowy afternoon," joked NFTA executive director Kimberley Minkel. "This is really the ideal time of year for people flying down to Tampa."
Tampa is one of four cities in Florida where Buffalo travelers may travel aboard a Frontier plane. Fort Myers, Orlando and Miami are also available destinations.
Frontier Airlines uses an a la carte-styled format with its pricing. Fares begin at $49 and, from there, passengers may pay additional fees for their specific needs. They may also pay for an all-inclusive bundle package.
"We like the demographics of the Buffalo-Niagara area," said Bob Westgate, senior director of schedules for Frontier Airlines. "It's been historically served at higher fares than really necessary. We thought our brand of service, our 'low fares done right' philosophy, would be a great match for the community here and that our flights would do well."
Frontier plans to add service to Denver next April. And from there?
"We'll see how those go. You have to walk before you could run," Westgate said. "Hopefully the community is very excited about the service. We'll have lots of people on it, which will encourage us to increase frequency on existing routes and then explore new service and frequency in new markets as well."