New Route of the Day – Americas (12 August 2021): Frontier between Las Vegas and Bloomington-Normal
On Thursday 12 August Frontier Airlines launched a new service from its second biggest base at Las Vegas in Nevada. Central Illinois Regional Airport at Bloomington-Normal (IATA code BMI) is now served 2-weekly (on Thursdays and Sundays). The inaugural service on the 2,340-kilometre route (flight number F9 1974, operated by an Airbus A320 registration N317FR) departed Las Vegas at 14:05 arriving in Illinois just under three hours later at 19:02 local time. Frontier already serves Bloomington-Normal from Denver with 3-weekly flights.
Frontier also launched new routes from Las Vegas to Tucson in Arizona (on 13 August) and Fayetteville in Arkansas (on 16 August). This brings to 53 the number of destinations served non-stop by Frontier from Las Vegas with a total of 400 weekly departures in mid-September. Only Denver, with almost 470 planned weekly departures, is a busier airport for Frontier.
Over 400,000 passengers in 2019
Central Illinois Regional Airport (CIRA) is located around half-way between Chicago and St. Louis, and serves the city of Bloomington and the town of Normal. The two have a combined population of around 130,000. The nearest commercial airport of note is Peoria, 70 kilometres to the north-east. CIRA handled 421,000 passengers in 2019, an increase of 15.6% compared with 2018. The airport currently has year-round daily flights to Atlanta (Delta), Chicago ORD (American), Dallas/Fort Worth (American) and Detroit (Delta). There are also lower frequency and seasonal routes to various destinations in Florida; Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, Orlando MCO, Orlando SFB and St. Pete/Clearwater.