Travel notes: Frontier sees rebound; London airport agreement, Southwest adds Hawaii connection

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Frontier Group Holdings, Inc., parent company of Frontier Airlines, Inc. reported a strong rebound in demand as leisure travel strengthened ahead of spring break and Easter.

The company became cash positive in March and ended the first quarter of 2021 with $853 million of unrestricted cash and cash equivalents.

The airline, which offers three-day-a-week  flights to Orlando from New Castle Airport raised more than $260 million in a stock offering.

“This is our first quarter reporting as a public company,, and we couldn’t be more pleased with what we are seeing relative to the recovery in leisure travel,” said Barry Biffle, Frontier’s CEO.

“We are well poised to take advantage of the recovery and expect to return to profitability in the second half of 2021,” Biffle stated.

London Heathrow and Philadelphia International sign agreement

Philadelphia International Airport signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Heathrow Airport committing both airports to work more closely in spurring travel as Covid-19 vaccinations increase.

“Heathrow is PHL’s busiest transatlantic route with more than 2,200 annual flights and 455,000 onboarded passengers in 2019,” said PHL CEO Chellie Cameron. “This partnership will help us safely restart travel for our most important transatlantic trade corridor.”

The MOU focuses on boosting passenger numbers, implementing innovative measures, increasing international cooperation, working with stakeholders across our industries,, and working jointly to advocate the airports’ respective government and industry organizations.

“We have been working closely with PHL over the past six months – exchanging information and best practice supporting the delivery of a safe and secure environment for our passengers,” said LHR CEO John Holland-Kaye. “We wanted to take this engagement a step further by signing an MoU as we work hard to bring back a safe and meaningful restart of travel between the UK and U.S.”

Both Heathrow and Philadelphia officials have jointly penned a letter to the U.S. and UK governments, which supports the removal of border restrictions to reflect the success of the vaccination programs and leads to the safe reopening of travel between the two countries.

The two airports also asked their counterparts at American Airlines and British Airways to increase airline to airport coordination.

Southwest adds connections to Hawaii

Southwest Airlines has made it a little easier for East Coast passengers to travel to Hawaii.

The discount carrier added  more flights to the island state  beginning in June from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.

The near doubling of flights to and from Hawaii means customers in 40-plus  cities on the Southwest route map now have connecting service.

A look at the flight schedule shows connecting flights to and from Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport. 

“We’re building on an era of affordability that Southwest initiated for Hawaii air travel. These new flights bring Hawaii service closer to more of our customers who live near airports across the West, and make it possible to choose Southwest to fly between the Aloha State and cities as far east as Nashville, without spending an entire overnight in the air,” said Andrew Watterson, executive vice president for Southwest Airlines. 

For Delaware passengers who fly out of  Baltimore-Washington,  travel times are lengthy but compare favorably with carriers like United. No nonstops to Hawaii are listed  out of either Philadelphia or Baltimore.

You can find nonstop service to Hawaii from  Kennedy, Newark (NJ),, and D.C. Dulles.

BWI Airport is taking note of the competition of an extension of its Southwest concourse in a related matter.

The $48 million improvement project consists of a 55,000 square-foot, five gate extension to Concourse A, which serves the carrier. The project includes new airline holdrooms and jet bridges, upgraded restrooms, and three new food and retail concessions.

The concourse comes at the right time, as Southwest reports a stronger-than-expected recovery in passenger traffic. 

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