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Airline to make ‘major’ announcement at RDU

RDU officials are readying for a major announcement on Thursday, but keeping quiet on the details.
RDU officials are readying for a major announcement on Thursday, but keeping quiet on the details. cseward@newsobserver.com

An airline will make a “major air service announcement” at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Thursday, but airport officials are mum on the details, including the name of the airline.

An executive from the airline will be joined by airport officials to make the announcement in RDU’s Terminal 2 at 10:30 a.m. It’s the kind of arrangement that RDU has made for significant new flights in the past, including the announcement last June of nonstop flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico, by Allegiant Airlines (later delayed) and the flight to Paris that Delta began offering in 2016.

The Triangle Business Journal reported Wednesday that Frontier Airlines will announce nonstop flights to four cities: Houston, San Antonio, Buffalo and San Juan. The new flights would mark a major expansion for Denver-based Frontier, which accounted for just 2.3 percent of passengers flying in and out of RDU last year. The nonstops to San Antonio, Buffalo and San Juan would be the only ones from RDU.

RDU has nonstop flights to 49 cities, after adding two new destinations – Austin and New Orleans – last year. Based on the ultimate destination of Triangle travelers, the top city without a nonstop flight is San Diego, followed by San Juan, Portland, Ore., San Jose and Sacramento.

More than 11.6 million passengers flew in and out of RDU last year, a record. The growth came from a combination of new flights and strong demand for existing ones.

Richard Stradling: 919-829-4739, @RStradling

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