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Frontier Airlines Exit Leaves Delaware Without Commercial Flights

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

If you want to fly in or out of Delaware, good luck, unless you have your own plane or the cash to charter one.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Delaware's is now the only state in the country that does not have access to commercial flights.

MARTIN: That means Delawareans have to make the schlep to Philly or Baltimore if they want to fly.

SCOTT GOSS: To Philadelphia can take about 45 minutes to an hour. To Baltimore, it can be an hour to an hour and a half.

SIEGEL: Scott Goss, a reporter for The News Journal of Wilmington says Frontier Airlines quietly withdrew from Newcastle Airport last week. It had been the only airline offering service in the state.

MARTIN: Frontier isn't the first to depart Delaware. Since the 1960s, United, Delta and U,S. Airways are about the companies that have come and gone.

SIEGEL: The problem is Delaware's proximity to those other cities. Scott Goss says Frontier began canceling flights last October. That's when it started adding flights out of Philadelphia International Airport.

GOSS: Those connecting flights it's able to get there may be more profitable for the company, but it wasn't that the service wasn't used or wasn't popular here in Delaware.

SIEGEL: In fact, Goss says, people were using the airport. Flights were more than 80 percent full.

MARTIN: But there's no regulation that says Frontier or any airline has to commit to an airport.

GOSS: Airlines are not required to sign any type of contract promising to provide service for any length of time. They can come and go as they please.

MARTIN: So this is what Delawareans get - turbulence. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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