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April 20, 2021

Frontier Airlines adds new routes from Philadelphia to 'outdoor' New England destinations

Airport officials are expecting an influx of travelers this summer as vaccinations increase and restrictions relax

Travel Airports
PHL Frontier Airlines Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Frontier Airlines is adding routes to Portland, Maine and Providence, Rhode Island at Philadelphia International Airport.

After a long year of social distancing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, many people are eager to travel this summer. 

A Travelocity survey earlier this year found that 60% of respondents said they were planning a "post-pandemic trip" within the next year. 

To keep up with the demand in travel, Frontier Airlines is adding two new routes out of Philadelphia International Airport and bolstering existing routes ahead of the summer season. The airline will have 23 flights from Philadelphia every day — up nearly 7% from June 2019.

Related: 'Vaccine Passports' could be the future of post-pandemic travel

Travelers can fly directly to Portland, Maine and Providence, Rhode Island starting in mid-July.

Flights between Philadelphia and Rhode Island will operate three times a week starting July 12, and Philly-to-Portland flights will take off four times a week starting July 13.

"Flights to destinations that offer guests access to many outdoor activities have been some of the most popular routes at PHL in recent months," said Stephanie Wear, the airport's director of air service development and cargo service. "Frontier's new Philadelphia offerings are right on trend, and we are excited that the airline has added Portland and Providence to its PHL schedule for our passengers."

Frontier also will resume its direct flight between Philadelphia and the Washington D.C.-based airport George Bush Intercontinental Airport on May 13. The airline is kickstarting its flights to Dallas-Fort Worth on May 14. Both routes will offer three flights per week. 

"Frontier is one of our biggest carriers," Wear said. "Since last summer, the airline has regularly added or resumed routes here, demonstrating that it is committed to making PHL one of its core airports."

Last month, the airport announced that several airlines were bringing back nonstop flights to popular destinations, including Austin, Texas; Palm Beach, Florida and Las Vegas. 

While the domestic flights are getting a boost, PHL officials say they are also working to make Philadelphia an "international gateway," for travelers from abroad. 

Philadelphia Business Journal reported that airport CEO Chellie Cameron and Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Gregg Caren are working together to get travelers back into the city as COVID-19 restrictions loosen up. PHL is a designated transatlantic hub for American Airlines, which allows it to offer several nonstop routes that other cities can't. 

PHL is allocating some of its federal COVID-19 funding into technological investments, like a kiosk that allows travelers to connect with airport workers while reducing in-person contact. The airport received $115 million from the latest federal relief package on top of the $260 million it received from three federal relief packages throughout 2020.

Officials cite the vaccine rollout as one of the major factors in the travel surge. As of April 20, 212 million people have been fully vaccinated in the United States, and 680,277 people in Philadelphia have received at least one shot. More than 450,000 people have been fully inoculated.

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