***UPDATE 6:38 P.M. MONDAY***A Frontier Airlines spokeswoman tells ABC 17 News they are pulling out of Columbia Regional Airport because bookings did not meet expectations for a new market. She also says they will not be releasing an official statement.Frontier officials say if anyone has tickets beyond the date Frontier leaves on May 14th, they will provide them with full refund. They say in order to do that call the reservation line. This move took some airport leaders by surprise while others became suspicious that something was about to happen. Mayor Bob McDavid tells us the airport manager received information that Frontier’s business model was in jeopardy of failing. The city did not receive final notice of the airline discontinuing its flights until sometime over the weekend.McDavid says they now need to focus on making the one airline in the area successful. Frontier airlines started flying out of Columbia Regional Airport less than three months ago with no financial guarantee. Columbia city leaders say they became somewhat suspicious when they noticed that airfare wasn’t expensive enough to cover Frontier’s costs for each flight. They say Frontier’s business model was to come in to a smaller airport and fly to a hotspot only a few times each week.”They came to us with that offer, there’s no revenue guarantee involved, and it was a sweet offer and it sounded too good to be true, and guess what it was too good to be true,” McDavid explains.City leaders tell us they’re now putting their focus on the American Airlines flights to Chicago and Dallas. The ultimate goal is to have three flights daily to each location, but that may take some time. But in the mean time there is now space set up for another airline to come in and set up shop.”The ability to expand our market is clearly there, we’re going to pursue that very aggressively over the next few years,” McDavid says.Several city leaders told us they would be open to Delta coming back into town. They say the $3-million revenue guarantee, just like what American received, is still on the table for the Delta.***ORIGINAL STORY***Frontier Airlines announced they will discontinue service between Columbia and Orlando.The airline will halt service from Columbia Regional Airport after May 14th.Columbia Regional Airport officials were made aware of the change from travelers on Sunday. The airport is attempting to get an official statement from the airline as to why service is being discontinued.The airport is urging customers with reservations after May 14 to contact Frontier Airlines immediately by calling 1-800-432-1359 or visiting www.FlyFrontier.com.Air service at the airport has been unsettled in recent months. Delta Airlines ended flights this past week after the city initially offered a $3 million revenue guarantee to American Airlines, but not to Delta. The city offered a guarantee to the airline, but Delta decided to remove air service from the airport. Frontier did not receive a revenue guarantee.Stay with ABC 17 News and abc17news.com for updates on this developing story.
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