By Martin Kidston/MISSOULA CURRENT
Frontier Airlines resumed its nonstop service from Missoula to Denver on Wednesday, the first of several seasonal flights slated to kick off in the coming weeks.
Chris Jensen, director of the Missoula International Airport, said five airlines currently serve the city. Frontier will fly its route to Denver on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
United Airlines also provides nonstop service to Denver.
“Our strong passenger activity demonstrates that current air service offerings are being well received by our customers,” said Jensen. “The community is responding to the competitive fares, new destinations and additional flights.”
The airport continues to see a year-over-year increase in passengers. Enplanements have increased from 283,000 in 2008 to more than 350,000 last year.
The growth in passengers set another record for the airport in 2015, but space is growing limited as a result. With larger jets serving the city and expanded services, Jensen believes the numbers will continue to increase.
“We continue to be very fortunate and receive additional frequency and larger aircraft from our airlines,” he said.
The airport is in the early stages of drafting a $42 million plan to expand the terminal. The project is expected to begin within the next few years.
Until then, Jensen said, passengers should arrive early.
“The airport is recommending passengers arrive at least 90 minutes prior to their flight’s departure to allow ample time for parking, checking your baggage, security screening and the boarding process,” Jensen said. “If departing between 6 and 7 in the morning, we recommend you arrive 2 hours early due to the number of flights departing within a short period of time.
Jensen said Allegiant Airlines will resume its flight to Oakland on June 2, and to Los Angeles on June 9. United will resume its flight to Chicago on June 9, and to San Francisco on July 1.
Delta will fly nonstop between Missoula and Atlanta starting July 3.