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Airline plans departure as LVIA fee waiver expires

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Frontier Airlines said it will suspend nonstop service between Lehigh Valley International Airport (LVIA) in Hanover Township and the Orlando International Airport (MCO) effective April 7. Flights after that date will be removed from the carrier's schedule Nov. 18.

“We're extremely disappointed to learn they are leaving the market,” said Charles Everett, executive director of the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority, which runs LVIA.

The airline cited the costs of operating out of the airport.

“Unfortunately, increasing fuel and other operating costs at Lehigh Valley International Airport have made it impossible to provide the low fares customers demand and, ultimately, we made the business decision to suspend our service,” said Greg Aretakis, Frontier's vice president of network and revenue. “Frontier is committed to providing its customers with convenient, low-fare service and relies heavily on airports keeping their costs competitive.”

However, Everett said, “That's why we offered them a big incentive package to come here.”

Everett noted that part of the package to lure the carrier, which began operations in May, was to waive airport fees for one year. That waiver would end at the end of April.

“We also gave them $50,000 in marketing dollars to help promote themselves,” he noted.

Everett said the airport authority is already in talks with other existing carriers to have them pick up the flights that will be lost with the exit of Frontier's service.

Frontier Airlines is a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings Inc. and is based in Denver, Colo.

Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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