AirTran, Frontier contracts extended

The Regional Economic Area Partnership (REAP) took action today that effectively renewed a contract with AirTran Airways and continued one with Frontier.

At its meeting today, REAP recommended the award of a $5 million state grant to Sedgwick County for funding to maintain affordable airfares to eastern and western U.S. destinations from Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

The state has made a five-year, $5 million-a-year commitment to affordable air service at Mid-Continent through its Kansas Affordable Airfares program.

That is set to expire June 30, 2011.

AirTran's contract will run from July 1 through June 30, 2011. Frontier's contract will run through June 30, 2011.

The grant requires a local match of 25 percent, or $1.67 million, which will be paid by the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County.

The program saved residents more than $29.5 million in lower fares last year, REAP said.