The Des Moines International Airport lost its only direct flight to San Francisco International Airport.
Frontier Airlines has announced the addition of a non-stop seasonal flight between Des Moines and San Francisco in 2017. This news was celebrated by the entrepreneurial and technological communities of central Iowa, who have been clamoring for years a direct connection with Silicon Valley.
But this seasonal flight will not come back this spring.
"It was a seasonal route and at that point it is not coming back," said Frontier spokeswoman Kelsy Hustead. "However, we are still evaluating our itineraries."
Kevin Foley, Executive Director of Des Moines International Airport, said he had not received any communication from Frontier regarding the status of his flight. He added that the flight had worked well and that he had tried to contact the airline to know the future of the route.
Frontier flew his last flight between San Francisco and Des Moines in November 2018.
"It's disappointing," Foley said. "The flight was very complete, so I do not know why he would not come back or what their decision-making process was and I had no contact with them."
San Francisco is becoming increasingly popular among travelers in Des Moines and occupies a prominent place on the list of the most popular destinations in the city.
"San Francisco used to be number 15 or 16," Foley said. "Today, it is number 10 on our top 10."
All other destinations among the 10 most popular destinations from Des Moines include a direct level of service, said Foley. Airport officials will work to court another airline to reactivate the service.
"What makes most sense to me is United, just because United is the biggest in San Francisco," said Foley. "But we would ask this service to any airline serving San Francisco."
The Des Moines Airport recorded record passenger traffic in 2018: more than 2.7 million people boarded or disembarked from the capital of Iowa – an increase of 7.6% over the 2 , 6 million passengers of the airport in 2017.
While low-cost airlines have grown in popularity, the traditional American, Delta and United airlines have transported more than three-quarters of Des Moines travelers last year. Frontier has transported 140,790 passengers to Des Moines last year, the lowest number of any airlines serving the airport.
"They do not have as many flights," Foley said. "There are not so many seats on Frontier."
Commercial airlines fly directly to 20 destinations from Des Moines Airport, although some of these flights are only offered on a seasonal basis.