Skiers and riders traveling to Aspen this winter may notice some changes to their transportation options, as Delta and Frontier have announced they will no longer offer air service to the famous ski town. The move makes flight choices into Aspen-Pitkin County airport easier, as guests can now fly United Airlines, or via private aircraft.
The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports Frontier officials announced the move to leave Aspen at the end of September to employees on Wednesday, part of new owner Republic Airlines’ decision to phase out Frontier’s older fleet of Bombardier Q400 turbo-prop aircraft that the airline uses on its route from its Denver hub to Aspen-Pitkin County Airport. While the Frontier routes were profitable, the airline couldn’t find a way to make it work in time for the new ski season.
Delta had previously advised the ski company of their decision to abandon the airport before ski season begins. Delta had offered one non-stop daily from its hubs in both Salt Lake City and Atlanta.
Not surprisingly, United, the major airline staying, offered a robust 19 daily flights last season on United Express from numerous major cities and connections such as Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.
Even though United now has a near monopoly on Aspen air travel, tourism officials aren’t expecting a sharp increase in airfares. President of Stay Aspen Snowmass Bill Tomcich tells the Post Independent that last year, the three airlines combined to service some 196,000 seats into Aspen. However, even with United acting as the sole carrier this winter the number will make only a modest drop to 140,000 seats, with the chance the number will increase given an opportunity for United to expand their flight offerings.