Frontier Airlines, which announced earlier this year that it would discontinue flights into Aspen/Pitkin County Airport for the upcoming winter season, has changed plans and will continue to carry snow enthusiasts to that Colorado destination.

Jeff Hanle, spokesperson for Aspen Snowmass, said that while ski resort personnel are not privy to all of Frontier's plans, he understands the airline had leased the aircraft used on the Aspen route, then that deal fell through.

Carlo Bertolini, spokesman for Republic Airways, explained the company had planned to "transition the aircraft (used into Aspen) out of our fleet." Frontier will continue to serve Aspen "at least until April." That aircraft is the Bombardier Q400, with 74 seats.

Bertolini said the number of flights will increase when the ski season starts: one a day, two a day, then four a day from mid-December into April, all from Denver International Airport (DEN).

Hanle pointed out that Delta has discontinued its flights into Aspen Snowmass from Salt Lake City and Atlanta, but United has added nonstop trips from San Francisco and Chicago, so that total number remains about the same at 150 a week.

Hanle said that United also has added once-daily hon-stop flights from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston to Aspen/Pitkin starting Jan. 4 and running through April 2.

United has connections from almost 200 cities in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and the Pacific Rim.

Frontier flies to a number of mountain resort destinations or gateways, including Durango, Colorado Springs and, starting Dec. 16, Steamboat Springs in Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; Boise, Idaho; Bozeman and Billings, Montana; Seattle and Spokane, Washington; and Portland, Oregon. 

Frontier has flights into its hubs in Denver, Kansas City, and Milwaukee from Newark and LaGuardia airports in the New York area, Philadelphia, Orlando, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, among other places, a total of 50 cities coast to coast. Republic Airways Holdings Inc. operates Frontier, Lynx, Republic, Midwest and Chautauqua Airlines.

United Airlines has announced that through the United Express partner SkyWest, it will be using jets with a first class cabin and more legroom in economy into Aspen.

The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (code ASE) is three miles (4.8 km) from Aspen, six miles (9.6 km) from Snowmass.

There is a free bus from the airport to Aspen and Snowmass, provided by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority. Most hotels at the resort have shuttles. There are also rental cars, taxis, and limos.

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