Thursday, November 18, 2010

Frontier shifts flights from IAH to Hobby

As of this afternoon, Frontier's Denver-Houston service has shifted from Bush Intercontinental to Hobby Airport:
"Hobby Airport offers great benefits to Frontier's guests," said Daniel Shurz, Frontier’s vice president of strategy and planning. "In addition to its easy-to-use refurbished terminal, Hobby offers convenient access to downtown Houston as well as to great tourist attractions such as NASA and Galveston."
Not to mention less congestion on both the airside and landside ends of the airport.

However, there's probably another good reason for this shift, as discussed on this thread. United's merger with Continental gives the combined airline the dominant position on this hub-to-hub route which will be difficult for Frontier to compete against. Frontier executives likely thought that it would be a better idea to move to Hobby and take their chances against Southwest, which already offers service to Denver.

Southwest, for its part, has been preparing for their competitor's arrival; over the past couple of months they've put up billboards along local freeways reminding people of their own Hobby-to-Denver service.

Fare war, anyone?

In other local aviation news, Emirates added a second daily nonstop between Bush Intercontinental and Dubai at the beginning of this month. A local blog was hoping that this would mean the appearance of the A380 Super-Jumbo in Houston, but, alas, the second flight will be serviced by another Boeing 777.

It's good to see that IAH-DXB is such a strong route for Emirates, and this second daily option will be of obvious benefit to me if I get called back my company's Dubai office. As of right now I am uncertain if that will ever happen, however.

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