Frontier adds flights, Higgins brings funds

Rick Pfeiffer, Niagara Gazette, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
·2 min read

Apr. 8—A low-fare airline carrier that caters to tourists has announced plans to add a new new nonstop flight from Buffalo Niagara International Airport to Myrtle Beach International Airport beginning in June.

Frontier Airlines says it will offer five non-stop destination flights from Buffalo this summer, with fares as low as $39.

"We're excited to expand our Buffalo service with new nonstop flights to Myrtle Beach," said James Fenner, senior director of pricing and revenue management. "Summer is quickly approaching, and Frontier's low fares and friendly flying experience offer a convenient option for families and friends who are looking to travel and enjoy sunshine and golf in Myrtle Beach."

Frontier's announcement came at the same time as U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, announced an award of more than $8.4 million for the Niagara Falls and Buffalo airports. The federal aid is intended to help support airport operations and cover concession losses created by a devastating decrease in air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The pandemic put travel at a near standstill, drastically reducing typical revenue streams for airports and associated businesses," Higgins said. "These resources will help keep airport operations on track and available to the public as a safe return to travel grows thanks to increases in vaccination rates."

The funding was welcomed by officials with Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which operates both airports. Managers at both airports have said that passenger travel in 2020 decreased between 85% and 90%.

"We are so grateful to Congressman Higgins, who continuously fights hard for local funding for our airports. This support will be a lifeline for our aviation operations," said Kim Minkel, NFTA executive director. "With our passenger traffic down due to Covid coupled by the U.S. and Canadian border closure, this money will ensure we can continue to provide aviation services to those traveling to and from Western New York and that our airports will be well positioned to play a critical role in the communities post-pandemic economic recovery."

Buffalo Niagara International Airport was awarded $6.4 million through the Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act to support operational costs. An additional $527,000 will provide relief to airport concessionaires.

Niagara Falls International Airport will receive $ 1.4 million in Covid relief to support operations, plus $26,000 for concession businesses.

The Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations act was signed into law last year and included $2 billion in federal funding to help eligible airports respond to the pandemic.