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Business briefs: Frontier Airlines travel alert, L-3 cuts back and more

Margie Manning



Frontier Airlines serves more than 1 million passengers a year from Tampa International Airport.

Frontier Airlines’ fast growth in the Tampa market is prompting changes at Tampa International Airport.

Frontier has outgrown its current home on Airside C, TIA’s busiest airside, and will start operating from a new location on Airside E on Nov. 14, TIA said.

Airside E has the most capacity, and relocating Frontier there will cause the least disruption for other carriers, said Adam Bouchard, senior manager of terminal operations and security.

Gating was not the only issue, said  Beth Zurenko, TIA’s vice president of real estate.

“The security checkpoints also can’t accommodate the increased volume and still maintain the level of service that people expect from Tampa International. Last year, we added two new TSA lanes at Airside C during the busy spring break period. There’s just not the room to grow anymore there and function efficiently during peak periods,” Zurenko said.

One new screening checkpoint is being added at Airside E to accommodate the increase in passenger volume at that airside.

Frontier started service at TIA with one route 16 years ago and now serves 19 markets and more than 1 million passengers a year from the Tampa airport.


L-3 Technologies’ Security and Detection System facility in St. Petersburg is slated for closure, with layoffs beginning at the end of the year.

Sixty-seven workers at the facility, at 2005 Gandy Blvd. N. will lose their jobs between Dec. 28  and May 3, according to a WARN letter sent Oct. 30 to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

After the layoffs, about 50 positions will remain, but they will be based at a new location in St. Petersburg, and the Gandy site will eventually close, a L-3 spokeswoman said.

The move was part of a previously announced strategy to increase efficiencies and competitiveness, according to a statement from L-3 Technologies (NYSE: LLL), a New York-based defense contractor.

“This action affects employees working across multiple functional areas of the business. The reductions will be enacted over several months beginning in December 2018 and are expected to be completed by May 2019. The affected employees are being offered both separation packages and outplacement assistance, including within L3,” the statement said.

L-3 and Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS), headquartered in Melbourne, Fla., said Oct. 14 they would combine in an all-stock merger of equals. The combined company will be named “L3 Harris Technologies” and headquartered in Melbourne.

Hurricane impact

Hurricane Florence hurt the bottom line at United Insurance Holdings Corp., the St. Petersburg-based property and casualty insurer that’s planning to build a new corporate headquarters downtown.

UPC Insurance currently is headquartered at 800 2nd Ave. S.

Florence caused severe damage in the Carolinas in September. Net retained losses from the storm were $25 million in the third quarter of 2018, Brad Martz, chief financial officer for United Insurance (NASDAQ: UIHC), said during a conference call. The blow was softened by the insurance company’s reinsurance, said John Forney, CEO.

Hurricane Michael, which made landfall in Florida in October, was not included in third quarter results.

United Insurance, one of the largest companies in St. Petersburg, lost $11.7 million, or 27 cents a share, on revenue of $187.7 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, but the loss was smaller than a year ago, when Hurricane Irma hit, and revenue is up. See the complete earnings here.

Retirement haven

Pinellas County is the best place in Florida to save for retirement, according to a study from  financial technology firm SmartAsset.

The study examined 401(k) and pension performance, as well as local economic conditions and access to financial advisors in counties across the country. Pinellas County scored especially high in financial advisors per capita.

Hillsborough County was listed No. 9 among Florida counties.

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