Frontier Airlines and Columbia officials celebrate first Orlando flight

Nov 21, 2012

Columbia's Mayor Bob McDavid announcing new flight options for Columbia travelers, last March.
Credit Matt Veto / KBIA

Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid ushered in the start of flight service between Columbia and Orlando at a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday (Tuesday). The addition could eventually pave the way to additional Frontier Airlines offerings in the years to come.

According to Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid, the regional airport is well on its way of achieving his goal of 40 percent market share of mid-Missouri travelers, despite the recent announcement that Delta Air Lines would be ending service out of Columbia.

McDavid says that while the airport would like to add additional cities to its list of offerings, his goal right now is to support the airlines currently flying out of Columbia: “We have to support the providers we have right now, obviously," he says. "This is a use it or lose it proposition. We have to make sure that American and Frontier are happy so that they, in fact, extend service.”

The ceremony comes on the heels of an announcement that Delta Air Lines would be ending service to the airport. Mayor McDavid says the airport’s revenue guarantee fund is effectively tapped out, and views it as a welcome sign that Frontier Airlines expanded service to Columbia without such a guarantee: “And that’s great. And so the more we could get done without having to offer a guarantee, obviously the more options we have, the more bullets we have to fire.”

Andrea Tollar is a director of sales for Frontier Airlines. She says that while she’s not involved in planning and strategy, she believes the next city the airline probably would expand service to is Denver: “I would guess we’ll watch the Orlando service for another 2 or 3 months, and we’ll probably take a look to see, depending on what the passenger numbers and what the demand is, we may look and see if additional flights per week are warranted. And from there we might look at expansion.”

Frontier Airlines will now offer twice weekly flights to Orlando on Tuesdays and Saturdays.