Airline notes: Furloughs at American; Wilmington-Orlando flights still on Frontier site; Southwest adds resort destinations

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Despite the ups and downs in the Covid-19 world, Frontier Airlines’ nonstop service between Wilmington-New Castle remains on the Frontier Airlines reservations site – at a champagne price.

The three-day-a-week service is slated to launch in mid-February. Fares now run about $300 round-trip, a hefty figure by Frontier standards. After all, you have to add in fees for things like seat assignment and luggage unless you can fit everything under the seat.

As it now stands, it would be far less expensive to fly out of Philadelphia International Airport in mid-February. A round trip to the home of Universal and the Magic Kingdom would run about $100.

Frontier is probably betting that travelers will prefer less crowded airports, although Orlando is one of the nation’s busier airports.

It is also a safe bet that fares will come down as the launch date approaches.

Big layoffs at American Airlines

Delaware is feeling the economic pain of big layoffs at Philadelphia International Airport.

WHYY reported that 1,400 workers at American Airlines will be furloughed at its hub city. That’s on top of layoffs at shops and contracted operations at the airport.

The airlines and workers are pushing for help from another stimulus bill, but so far, nothing has materialized.

A number of PHL workers reside in Delaware. Over the years, the expansion at US Airways (now American) led to employees relocating to Delaware.

This was especially true when Piedmont Airlines was acquired by US Airways three decades ago. For a time, Piedmont jackets were a common sight at malls and grocery stores.

Piedmont lives on with American Airlines renaming a regional carrier, based in Salisbury, MD.

Click on the headline below for the WHYY story.

At least 1,400 furloughed at Philadelphia International Airport as federal aid deal falters

Southwest beefs up winter service

Southwest Airlines Co. will offer options for travelers spending time outdoors this winter.

The carrier announced new seasonal service to Montrose Regional Airport (Telluride) on the Western Slope of Colorado, beginning on Dec. 19, the same day as previously announced seasonal service to the ski mecca of Steamboat Springs. Service to Miami and Palm Springs both begin Nov. 15.

Delaware travelers should be able to use connecting service from Philadelphia and Baltimore-Washington to Palm Springs and the ski areas. Miami will be served by nonstops from Baltimore.

Southwest is betting that in the current environment resort destinations with outdoor options will draw travelers.

Southwest is in better financial shape than most of its competitors, including American Airlines, which has a hub in Miami. Southwest is no stranger to Florida but had built its presence in Fort Lauderdale.

The airline, like its competitors, is pushing for pandemic assistance as it struggles to maintain its no-layoff tradition. The airline has proposed a pay cut for its largely unionized workforce.

Southwest also launched service to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico from Phoenix.

The carrier is now offering daily service between Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and both Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta. Delaware travelers may be able to take connecting flights from BWI and Philadelphia.

Mexico has no major air travel restrictions, although border crossings by car are still banned.Travel agents report that bookings to Mexico are on the upswing.

Minute Suites at BWI

Minute Suites has opened a location at the Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport.Minute Suites offers a place to rest and relax before or between flights while staying in the terminal. The center also has a location at Philadelphia International Airport.

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