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Each week, WFAE's "Morning Edition" hosts get a rundown of the biggest business and development stories from The Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter.

Some cheaper flights out of Charlotte coming this spring

Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Your options for flying out of Charlotte just got cheaper. Low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines announced this week it’s adding seven direct flights from Charlotte Douglas. Frontier becomes the Number 2 carrier at the airport, behind American Airlines.

For more, I’m joined now by Tony Mecia of the Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter for our segment BizWorthy.

Marshall Terry: So where, Tony, are these direct flights from Frontier going and when do they start?

Tony Mecia: New York LaGuardia; Chicago O'Hare; Dallas; Houston; Baltimore; Buffalo, New York; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. This gives it a total of 13 destinations from Charlotte, which is the second most destinations behind, of course, American Airlines, which has about 160 destinations.

Most of these flights start in April, although the one to Buffalo starts in May and to Puerto Rico in June. And Frontier says that they're doing this because it's part of a growth strategy and they're targeting markets that they say are overpriced.

Terry: Ok, so Charlotte Douglas is notoriously expensive to fly out of because of American Airlines' dominance. With this added competition, are we likely to see fares overall drop? I mean that’s how supply and demand works, right?

Mecia: Yeah, in theory, you would expect that. I will say that the number of flights that they're adding is not a lot, so you might not see that much of an effect. While they are going to be flying to 13 different cities, in many cases, these are just one-a-day flights or in in some cases, you know, three flights a week. If you look at flying to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Frontier is flying one flight a day. Well, right now, American is flying something like nine flights a day to LaGuardia, so it might not have that much of an impact on the airfares as you might think, although there are certainly some cheap airfares on Frontier.

It's also worth noting that as a low-fare carrier, Frontier does charge a lot of these extras, right? I mean you want an assigned seat, you wanna bring on a rollaway bag to put overhead, you're gonna pay for that on Frontier. So, once you add everything up, it might not, for flyers, wind up being that much of a savings.

Terry: Let’s stay at the airport for a moment. The airport's economic director unveiled plans this week for development on 90 acres near the main entrance on Wilkinson Boulevard. What’s in the works?

Mecia: This is land that the airport owns, they are asking developers to submit proposals to the airport, to the city, so that the land can be developed. And the sorts of things that they would like to see are hotels, some dining options, a brewery and then in some cases, manufacturing and logistics buildings, pharmacy, medical offices. So, they have a wide range of things that they would like to see on these parcels we're talking about, on Wilkinson Boulevard near the entrance to the airport, the one with the crown statue.

Terry: Shifting gears now, this week you profiled a groundbreaking Charlotte restauranteur who passed away. What was her story?

Mecia: Lucinda Blackmon founded Original Chicken ‘N’ Ribs, which is a longtime restaurant on Beatties Ford Road. She founded it with her husband Otis in 1952. It got its start, she would tell her relatives when one day they were cleaning out a building and somebody stopped in and asked if they sold sandwiches. The family said we do sell sandwiches, sold them some baloney sandwiches that they planned to be their lunch, and so they saw an opportunity to start selling food and have done it for decades. Lucinda Blackmon passed away in October at age 102.

Terry: Finally, and we’re going to stick with chicken for just a moment, you report a chicken war is heating up in Cotswold. How bad is it?

Mecia: It's certainly intensifying, Marshall. The Chick-fil-A on Randolph Road reopened last week after five months and the Bojangles next door has now been opened a few weeks. It's the first time in more than two years that these chicken competitors have been open next to each other.

You should know that Bojangles is throwing some shade at Chick-fil-A. It puts some lettering on its marquee, it says ‘Better food, open seven days a week. It's Bo’ time.’ So, they're calling out Chick-fil-A for being closed on Sundays. So far, Chick-fil-A seems to be turning the other cheek. Their sign has an ad for their mango passion drinks. No response yet to Bojangles.

Support for WFAE's BizWorthy comes from Sharon View Federal Credit Union, The Original Mattress Factory and our listeners.

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Marshall came to WFAE after graduating from Appalachian State University, where he worked at the campus radio station and earned a degree in communication. Outside of radio, he loves listening to music and going to see bands - preferably in small, dingy clubs.