DENVER (AP) — Frontier Airlines has announced more flight cancellations through Monday after golf ball-sized hail at Denver International Airport took almost a third of its Airbus fleet out of service.
The Denver-based carrier said it had cancelled a total of 96 flights for Saturday, Sunday and Monday, on top of more than 100 flights that had been scheduled to leave Thursday and Friday.
Eighteen of the carrier's 59 Airbus planes plus two turboprops were damaged by the hail Wednesday night.
The storm was part of a monsoon pattern that National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Entrekin told the Denver Post was weakening in the area but could still last another week.
It dealt Frontier a bigger setback than other airlines that use the Denver airport, leaving the carrier to enter short-term leases of other airlines' planes and make efforts to fly customers on other airlines or aircraft.
Five of Frontier's aircraft have returned to service, but the rest are still being repaired.
Denver's largest carrier, United Airlines, canceled 39 flights Friday, a day after it canceled about 90 flights because of hail damage. Twelve United planes — out of its fleet of 710 — were out of service as they were inspected for damage, but spokesman Mike Trevino didn't know the extent of the damage.
Another top operator at Denver's airport, Southwest Airlines, said three of its planes were damaged by hail, but, with 550 planes in its fleet, it didn't have to delay or cancel flights.
Frontier said earlier it was paying the hotel bills for passengers who've been stranded. Also, change fees have been waived for those who must reschedule travel, airline spokesman Peter Kowalchuk told the Post.