Frontier Airlines announces flights from Long Island to Puerto Rico...

Frontier Airlines announces flights from Long Island to Puerto Rico and South Carolina. Credit: Barry Sloan

Low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines will bring two new destinations this spring to Long Island MacArthur Airport, with direct routes to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, officials said Thursday.

“Even though we have only recently begun service, the Long Island community has already embraced our unique brand of low fares, done right,” said Eric Engel, manager of sales for Frontier, in a statement.

The news follows cancellations of routes between the Ronkonkoma airport and Fort Myers, Florida, Miami and New Orleans that will take effect this spring. Airline officials have said those flights weren’t booking enough capacity to continue at this time.

“We’re really trying to work with the Long Island community and find what that right combination of destinations look like,” Frontier spokesman Richard Oliver III said Thursday.

Airport and town officials did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

Service to Myrtle Beach will start May 20 and operate on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Daily flights to San Juan will begin April 8.

MacArthur previously had a twice-weekly route to Myrtle Beach on Portland, Maine-based Elite Airways, but it — along with all other Elite flights out of the airport — has been suspended since April 2017.

Officials for Frontier said they have been in close contact with tourism officials in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria hit the island last September, and those communications informed the company’s decision to ramp up flights to that region.

“This is a market for friends and family, so we see that as a huge opportunity from Long Island to Puerto Rico,” Oliver said. “They’re also open for tourism. We were one of the first airlines operating back in San Juan, so it really represents our commitment to that community.”

The regional airport 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 officials said is projected to bring in $2.8 million in revenue in 2018.

Frontier Airlines operates more than any other carrier at MacArthur Airport, with flights to Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, as well as Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach, Florida.

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