Frontier slashing jobs, flights from DIA, cites higher taxes, landing fees

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DENVER — Citing increased taxes and landing fees, Frontier Airlines announced it will cut jobs and flights from Denver International Airport.

A letter from Frontier CEO Dave Siegel says the airline will slash daily flights from DIA and an undetermined number of jobs, saying the move by the Denver-based airline is a way to reduce costs.

RELATED: Frontier CEO Dave Siegel Letter

Siegel wrote that the tax burden has “doubled in the last two years and airport landing fees are up 30 percent over the past three years. The cumulative effect of these increasing costs is that connecting traffic is no longer profitable for our airline.

“We are also faced with escalating taxes and airport charges at Denver International Airport, where operating costs have risen faster than any other major U.S. airport over the past decade.”

He also blamed the city for a lack of incentives that resulted in the move.

“This may come as a surprise, but we do not receive economic incentives as the hometown airline, adding to our cost burden,” the letter reads.

The city in May reached a deal with Frontier to reimburse the airline for repairs to a hangar that would be used as a maintenance facility. And the city approved a proposal by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to phase out a 3.62 percent aircraft-parts tax in his 2014 budget.

“DIA works with all of its airlines to meet their needs. Frontier Airlines, and the other airlines that serve Denver, will benefit from the phase-out of the city’s 3.62 percent sales and use tax on aviation parts,” DIA spokeswoman Laura Coale said in statement. “Frontier has also benefitted from DIA’s debt restructuring and recent hangar lease.”

Added Hancock spokeswoman Amber Miller in a statement: “The mayor has communicated his disappointment but understands the airline’s business decisions as they transition to become an ultra-low-cost carrier.”

Frontier employs nearly 1,000 people in Denver.


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