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"This is a historic day for us as today's announcement has been in the works since we first laid out our plans for the development of Lynx Aviation and ordered the first 10 Bombardier Q400 aircraft almost a year ago," said Frontier President and CEO Jeff Potter. "When the idea of sending out a request for proposal (RFP) to communities looking for low fare service was first floated, I will admit that I was skeptical. That skepticism faded as we began to get these compelling, heartfelt proposals from communities around the country, telling us how much they needed Frontier and what our low-fare, high-quality service would mean to them. In the end, we sent out 65 proposals and heard back from 62 communities most of whom eloquently demonstrated they wanted Frontier -- and we're grateful for their support.

"However, we had to narrow down this great list of opportunities to what will ultimately be about nine new cities that we will serve with the Q400 by December 2007. The first of those new markets -- Wichita, Rapid City and Sioux City -- are dynamic communities that are clearly underserved for low fare service and the citizens of those cities absolutely deserve the high-quality product that Frontier can offer. They are ready for the economic growth that can be generated by a low-fare hub in Denver offering them non-stop service to Denver and one-stop service to 60 destinations throughout the United States, Canada and Central America. We look forward to returning the favor of their support beginning in October, and we are eager to become true partners to those communities."

"Frontier's growth has previously been fueled by mainline aircraft and the addition of key mainline markets," said John Happ, Frontier Senior Vice President of Marketing and Planning. "Today's new markets, as well as the additional Q400 cities we will announce in the near future, represent a critical step in our diversification plan. These high-yield, smaller density markets can leverage the strengths of our Denver hub by taking advantage of not only the non-stop Denver service but also the tremendous connecting opportunities our hub can offer. We are confident that Wichita, Rapid City and Sioux City represent only the beginning of the opportunities afforded by the expansion of our regional service, which will play a primary role in Frontier's growth for the next several years."

This article provides some background information about Wichita:

"It got the people involved and it really gave Frontier a sense of the need here from the community," said Valerie Wise, Wichita Mid-Continent Airport's air service and business development manager. "These people, they just poured their hearts out."

Although Wichita's airport has ample service to cities in the East, destinations to the West are limited to Denver on United Airlines; Phoenix on US Airways and Los Angeles on a contract carrier for Delta Air Lines Inc., Wise said.

"We value United but they aren't a low-fare carrier and they don't have any competition. Nor does US Airways," she said. "Without competition there's no pressure on prices.

Wichita airport officials worked on their proposal for about a year, offering such things as a waiver of landing fees and terminal rent, and marketing, an incentive package worth about $600,000.

The first of the new planes will be received soon and the first flights will start in October 2007...

JT :-)
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