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Frontier Airlines to end flights from Islip to New Orleans

A Frontier Airlines plane pictured on Aug. 16,

A Frontier Airlines plane pictured on Aug. 16, 2017. Credit: Barry Sloan

Low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines will end its direct flights between Long Island MacArthur Airport and New Orleans on March 5, officials said Thursday.

The Denver-based airline had just added the nonstop New Orleans route in October. Officials said the carrier had not seen enough demand to continue the service to Louisiana.

“We constantly evaluate route performance,” Frontier spokesman Richard Oliver III said in an email. “Unfortunately this capacity was better . . . redeployed elsewhere in our network.”

Oliver said that service was slated to go through April, but the airline decided to discontinue the flights earlier than anticipated based on performance.

Airport commissioner Shelley LaRose-Arken Thursday touted the 10 nonstop routes that Frontier brought to Long Island.

“Unfortunately, one of these 10 routes — New Orleans — did not perform as was anticipated, and therefore adjustments to the schedule are being made to ensure the carrier continues to be successful in the market,” she said in a statement.

The news is a blow for the regional airport, which has seen a significant financial turnaround in recent years, ending 2017 with a nearly $3 million surplus. The airport operated at a loss from 2011 to 2014, reaching its largest deficit of $2 million in 2012.

The improved financial standing helped attract Frontier Airlines to the Islip Town-owned airport last August, a move that had been projected to bring in $2.8 million in revenue in 2018, officials said. Officials did not immediately have new projections for how the suspended route would affect its bottom line.

MacArthur is self-sustaining and has never used tax dollars to support its budget. In years of financial loss, it survived on surpluses from better years.

Daily operations are funded through fees for concessions, leases and other services. Capital projects are funded by federal, state and other grants, or with surplus funding in years it is available, LaRose-Arken has said.

MacArthur also is served by Southwest Airlines and American Airlines.

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