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Frontier Airlines to suspend service from Bloomington to Las Vegas

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BLOOMINGTON — It's no dice for direct flights from the Twin Cities to Sin City.

Frontier Airlines confirmed to The Pantagraph on Wednesday that it plans to suspend its service from Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. 

"We are very appreciative of the support from the community and our airport partner in Bloomington," Frontier corporate communications manager Zach Kramer wrote in an email. "With respect to the Las Vegas route, demand did not materialize to support the service."

Kramer said the final flight from Bloomington to Las Vegas is scheduled for Oct 3. 

092518-blm-loc-1frontier (copy)

A Frontier Airlines airplane is pictured in this Pantagraph file photo. The Colorado-based airline will suspend nonstop direct flights from Central Illinois Regional Airport to Las Vegas starting Oct. 3.

The decision comes nearly two months after nonstop flights started taking off biweekly on Aug. 12. Fares start at $49, with flights running on Thursdays and Sundays.

CIRA officials announced the service in June, pitching it as a response to the rise in leisure travel.

Carl Olson, CIRA, mug with face mask

Olson

"There's a lot of pent-up demand to get out and start enjoying life again," CIRA Executive Director Carl Olson said at the time. "This is a good time to do this, this is a good place to do it."

Olson and CIRA communications staff could not immediately be reached Wednesday afternoon.


The OSF Level I Trauma helicopter now flies out of a new hangar at CIRA in Bloomington. READ MORE HERE.


But speaking Wednesday morning on a local radio station, Olson said increased COVID-19 caseloads and enhanced mitigations implemented in Las Vegas casinos translated into reduced interest in the service.

"We are looking and having conversations about bringing it back once things get a little more settled," Olson said on the WJBC's Scott Miller Show. "We'd like to get that Vegas service back, as it's a tremendous market for us."

9/11 altered plans for new terminal at Central Illinois Regional Airport

Las Vegas is the third destination that the Colorado-based airline services from CIRA. Frontier also offers direct flights to Denver and Orlando, which in the first quarter of 2021 were at 8,187 passengers. 

CIRA first offered a flight to Las Vegas starting in summer 2007. AirTran Airways — the airline that serviced the route — nixed the flight in April 2008 because of inflated fuel costs.


Contact Timothy Eggert at (309) 820-3276. Follow him on Twitter: @TimothyMEggert

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