Frontier to keep three Q400s

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Frontier Airlines now plans to retain three Bombardier Q400s that were originally planned to be removed from service next month.

Frontier parent Republic Airways Holdings announced in February that it would close its Lynx Aviation subsidiary by September. "We concluded we could not efficiently operate a fleet of 11 Q400 aircraft," said Republic EVP and COO Wayne Heller.

Meanwhile, Republic management said during its second quarter earnings call on 7 August that only jet aircraft would be flying in Frontier's network by 1 October.

But today the carrier announced it will retain three of the aircraft "to carry on service to Aspen and several other Colorado locations", such as Durango and Colorado Springs.

A Frontier spokesperson says the carrier is "retaining some airplanes because a tentative deal we had fell through and we can more profitably deploy them on a few routes this winter than leave them parked". The Q400s will be transferred to the Republic Airlines operating certificate.

Frontier had originally planned to end Apsen service on 31 September. Lynx currently operates 28 weekly frequencies from Frontier's Denver hub to the Colorado city, according to the Innovata database.

According to a new schedule published by Frontier on 17 August, there will be one daily flight to Aspen beginning on 1 October, with another added on 18 November, and two more on 16 December. Apsen service will run until April, says Frontier.