Frontier Airlines returns to Fresno

FRESNO, California

Inside the terminal the arriving passengers got a friendly greeting from the Fresno Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with a gift bag and cake.

One of the first off the plane was Anthony Wiks of Fresno, who flew to Denver for a job interview.

"Perfect service," said Wiks. "Love Frontier, great deals, just got the deal yesterday and couldn't argue."

Frontier previously served the Fresno market for about 18 months, in 2005 and 2006. That experiment was financed with a more than $1 million Federal subsidy. But now Frontier is paying it's own way and joins United Airlines in nonstop flights to and from Denver.

Layla Forstedt of the Convention and Visitors Bureau says the additional flights are seen as a boost to Fresno.

Forstedt said, "This is a really big deal for Fresno having another direct flight brings in more tourists, makes it much more affordable, and easy for people to come here and also for people to go there."

Frontiers return to Fresno is really in name only. The company went bankrupt after leaving the Fresno market 2007 and this is a new airline.

Those who remember the old Frontier, like Torey Ivanic, who was boarding the first flight to Denver with her husband and two kids, is hoping the airline sticks around this time.

"I used to fly Frontier to Denver all the time and I'm glad to have them back," said Ivanic. "So, I hope they stay."

Frontier is getting off to a slow start, only offering flights between Fresno and Denver three days a week, and after Friday, cake won't be served.

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