Soon, Delaware Will Have No Commercial Air Service

It's not the first time folks in the state will need to drive out of it to catch a commercial flight
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2022 6:01 PM CDT
Soon, Delaware Will Have No Commercial Air Service
This Sept. 10, 2015 photo shows the front of the New Castle County Airport. Frontier Airlines announced that it will end service to the airport on June 6, 2022, making Delaware the only state with no commercial air service.   (Kyle Grantham/The News Journal via AP)

Frontier Airlines confirmed to Business Insider that it will operate its last flight at New Castle Airport on June 6. With that, Delaware will be the only state with no commercial airline service. Per WHYY, it's a "dubious distinction" with which Delawareans are already familiar: Frontier was the state's only airline when it ceased operations there back in 2015; it promised to restart in 2020 only to be thwarted by the pandemic. Flights finally resumed in 2021, but "sufficient demand did not materialize to support the service," according to a Frontier spokesperson's statement in the Delaware News Journal.

Before 2015, Frontier flew from Wilmington to Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Houston, and several Florida cities. Lately, however, service was limited to thrice-weekly flights to Orlando. In the runup to 2020, airport operator Delaware River and Bay Authority completed about $2 million in renovations and upgrades in preparation for Frontier's return, per the News Journal. A DRBA spokesperson expressed disappointment but remained optimistic that commercial air service "can and will succeed." The DRBA also said commercial service is only "one aspect of the airport's overall role and value to the community." It's still open for charter flights and general aviation.

Also per WHYY, the airport remains home to the Delaware Air National Guard, and President Biden uses it when he visits home, although it's more often a job for Marine One than Air Force One. There's always a chance another airline will see the opportunity. In fact, Frontier's spokesperson even floated the possibility, saying the company is "continually evaluating our routes and [New Castle] will certainly remain in the consideration set for potential service in the future." Meanwhile, Baltimore's BWI and Philadelphia International are the nearest major commercial airports from any point in Delaware. (More Delaware stories.)

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