Frontier Airlines announces a direct flight connecting San Antonio to Chicago's O'Hare Airport.
Frontier Airlines announces new direct flights connecting San Antonio to six U.S. cities. Credit: Courtesy / Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines will begin routing six new nonstop flights out of San Antonio International Airport in October. Year-round destinations will include New Orleans, Phoenix, and San Diego, and seasonal service running throughout the spring will offer flights to Orlando, Cincinnati, and San Jose.

“Today marks an important day for Frontier,” Frontier Director of Digital Marketing Doug Bertram said during a press conference at City Hall Tuesday. “We recognize that flying should be more affordable for [people in] South Central Texas.”

Mayor Ron Nirenberg lauded the expanded services as a driver for economic development, tourism, and additional options now offered to San Antonio travelers. He highlighted the important benefits of attaining nonstop flights to Cincinnati and San Jose in particular.

“Like San Antonio, San Jose is home to complementary industries such as IT, cybersecurity, and biosciences,” Nirenberg said. “Nonstop service to the Silicon Valley area will greatly benefit San Antonio as we work together to expand our own city’s tech, bio[science], and cybersecurity industries.”

Cincinnati, which has seen significantly reduced service from the San Antonio airport since 2010, is another city that offers both business and personal opportunities.

“Since 2010, we have experienced some drop offs, but this is an opportunity now to build on the traffic that has seen nearly 30,000 passengers fly between San Antonio and the Cincinnati/Dayton area each year,” Nirenberg said. “San Antonio and Cincinnati have economic ties and great opportunities for continued growth in advanced manufacturing, aviation, aerospace, health, and financial industries. In addition, San Antonio’s military community has a connection to Dayton, Ohio that dates back many years and will significantly benefit from Frontier’s nearby Cincinnati service.”

Councilman John Courage, whose District 9 is home to the city’s airport, spoke alongside Nirenberg and San Antonio Aviation Director Russell Handy during the press conference. Courage outlined how a fruitful relationship has recently formed between San Antonio International Airport and Frontier Airlines.

“I want to thank Doug [Bertram] and the Frontier Airlines team for your confidence in San Antonio,” Courage said. “Our relationship with Frontier began in May of 2016 with service to Denver, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Orlando, and in just 14 months our relationship has really blossomed. Frontier’s addition of six new markets will more than double the number of cities that are serviced by Frontier from San Antonio International.”

Courage concluded his remarks by suggesting that more direct flights may be routed out of San Antonio International with Frontier Airlines in the future.

Following the press conference, Handy fielded questions from reporters curious about the San Antonio airport’s ongoing pursuit of other nonstop service flights to coastal cities. He briefly discussed the status of acquiring a flight to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C.

“As you might know, the nonstop flight efforts to Reagan National Airport is a very big focus item for us,” Handy said. “It’s controlled by a perimeter legislation that limits by law anyone over 1,250 miles from having a nonstop destination. We’re 131 miles outside of that and we are actively working with our elected officials and airlines to gain an exemption to that.”

The seasonal restrictions on the San Jose and Cincinnati flights were not discussed at length during the press conference. Still, officials feel confident that these six new flights align with the City’s goals of making San Antonio a first class air market.

“Every incremental positive step that San Antonio International Airport makes with new connectivity is a step toward that future that we see for great air service here in San Antonio,” Nirenberg said. “This is a successful day.”

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Jeffrey Sullivan

Jeffrey Sullivan is a Rivard Report reporter. He graduated from Trinity University with a degree in Political Science.