Airline notes: Wilmington-New Castle gets federal funding upgrade; Frontier trims winter service


Delaware River and Bay Authority  officials confirmed that the Wilmington – New Castle Airport (ILG) moved past  10,000  boardings  for the year, officially becoming a  Primary Commercial Service Airport (CSA) and losing its earlier designation as a General Aviation Reliever Airport.

The designation will be effective for the Federal Fiscal Year 2023.

Under the designation, ILG wil be able  to get  a minimum annual federal entitlement of $1 million, a net increase of $850,000.  As a General Aviation Reliever Airport, ILG had  been designed to get $150,000 annually.

“Wilmington/New Castle Airport is now one of only 385 airports nationwide – and the only such airport in Delaware – to be classified as a Primary CSA,” said Stephen D. Williams, deputy executive director and airport director of the DRBA.  “In addition to the boost in federal entitlement dollars, the primary CSA designation also has significance within the airline, cargo, and commercial airport communities. It further validates the airport’s regional recognition as a low-cost leader with growing preference as an alternative, ease of use secondary airport serving the Philadelphia Metro area.  This milestone confirms that our customers really like our small airport, no hassle travel experience.”

On February 11, scheduled commercial service returned to Delaware as Frontier Airlines resumed service to Orlando. Frontier serves the ILG market with the 180-seat, Airbus A320 two to three times a week.

With the designation, the airport stands to earn even more entitlement dollars if and when  annual boarding  numbers rise from 10,000 to 50,000. 

 In addition to entitlement dollars, ILG also earns revenue from the FAA’s Passenger Facility Charge program.  The airport’s current PFC program is authorized to collect up to $1.3 million until 2024.  Each passenger boarding nets the airport $4.39.

Frontier down to twice weekly Orlando flights until spring

Frontier Airlines is trimming  Orlando nonstop  service from three times a week to twice weekly during the winter months. Flights will be offered on Mondays and Fridays.

According to its reservations  timetable,  flights will be added at spring break time with three-day-a-week flights resuming later in the year.

An $85 round trip fare  is available in early January, with checked-overhead compartment  baggage, seat reservations and other options extra.

Frontier is living up to its pledge to be patient with service to and from the airport. Marketing and promotion remain low key.

Passengers have been hoping for five to seven-day service to Orlando and perhaps other desitnations.

Frontier continues to have a major presence at  the Philadelphia International Airport, with a sizable portion of its schedule coming from  flights that operate a few days a week.

Frontier does offer daily service from Philly to a few Florida detinations and Denver.

The Points Guy website reports that Frontier is focusing on South Florida as it expands to Fort Lauderdale and adds flights to Northeast and Midwestern destinations and Puerto Rico.

The site also reports taht Frontier will exit Newark international Airport next year and Dulles in the Washington, D.C. area.

 Newark is proving to be a tough spot  with Southwest exiting the United Airlines fortress hub before the Covid pandemic hit.


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