Expanding Service Options Continue at Louis Armstrong International Airport
Louis Armstrong International Airport welcomed four new Frontier Airlines flights on October 5th and 6th with service to Austin, Providence, Islip (NY), and San Antonio. For the inaugural New Orleans-Providence flight on October 5th, Frontier celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by the airport’s Aviation Director Kevin Dolliole. Incoming Providence passengers enjoyed refreshments, MSY beads and a traditional water cannon salute. Frontier’s other inaugural flights went off without a hitch despite Tropical Storm (and later Hurricane) Nate approaching the Louisiana coast. Frontier’s expansion of service to/from LANOIA represents a continuation of a number of carriers expanding service options throughout 2017. Frontier is not the only “low-cost airline” to expand this fall. Months after announcing direct service expansion to Baltimore-Washington, Spirit Airlines launched nonstop flights to Boston, Tampa, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Newark (NJ) in time for Thanksgiving, as well as seasonal service to Columbus (OH) starting next March. Southwest Airlines expanded service to Raleigh-Durham and Columbus (OH), which began in April.
LANOIA has also made strides toward international destination expansion with new offerings which were introduced earlier in 2017. The first of British Airways’ Flight 244 with nonstop service from New Orleans to London-Heathrow was celebrated this past spring. Just after the inaugural flight landed in London on March 27, British Airways announced plans to increase the number of flights from four to five weekly. This expansion is an excellent indicator for the airport and for local tourism of increased activity as international travelers (particularly from Europe) can make their way to New Orleans more efficiently. Airport officials estimate that this direct service to a “world business capital” such as London will generate around $41 million in annual tourism for the city. Even more cities have popped up on the list this year: In May, Condor began to provide nonstop service to Frankfurt, Germany. Weekly non-stop service to Freeport, The Bahamas began May 27, 2017 on Vacation Express. One focus of the new terminal will be to allow for larger aircraft often used for longer international hauls to use a number of gates for loading. Perhaps this will facilitate even further international service expansion, such as restoring past service to Central and South America.