Airlines serving Philly, Baltimore adding service to Latin America


Low-fare carriers Frontier and Spirit are adding service to Puerto Rico and Central America.

Frontier is establishing a crew base in Miami that will serve as a launchpad for expanded service.

Beginning in late April, Frontier will add daily flights to Miami International Airport and San Juan Puerto Rico from Baltimore-Washington International Airport. That’s a change from the usual formula of offering flights a few days a week.

Puerto Rico is seeing its tourism industry grow with San Juan rating high as a destination.

Frontier will also offer daily nonstop service from Baltimore-Washington to the Central American nation of El Salvador, beginning in mid-June.

Delaware and Delmarva have seen growth in the number of immigrants from El Salvador and nearby Central American nations. Despite a lot of publicity over crime, El Salvador has a sizable tourism industry.

Meanwhile, Spirit is adding a second daily flight from both Philadelphia International and Baltimore-Washington to San Juan beginning in March.

Both Frontier and Spirit have been expanding their jet fleets with what is known as ultra-low fare service that charges fees for seat assignments, checked baggage and other services.

Base fares are low. Frontier plans to kick off its service to El Salvador with $79 one-way fares.

Frontier and Spirit also offer “bundles” with fare totals that are more in line with other carriers. Spirit is also offering more legroom in new jets that are coming into service.

Frontier claims its fleet of new Airbus jets, burns 39 percent less fuel than fleets of other airlines, allowing it to pass on the savings.

Frontier briefly served New Castle Airport but has since moved to Philadelphia International, offering flights to more than two dozen cities.

In other news, American Airlines is extending its seasonal service from Philadelphia to Lisbon and Prague into January of 2021. In June, Southwest Airlines will add nonstop service from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Tulsa, OK and Pensacola, FL.

Southwest is still coping with the grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets. The airline cut service from Newark, NJ and trimmed service on other routes. Both Frontier and Spirit have jumped into the Newark market.

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