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FRO-2003-06 - 1ST A318 LAUNCH
FRO-2005 9 MTHS
FRO-2005-07 1ST6MTHS 2005
FRO-2009-12 3Q STATS
FRO-2011-10 - ROUTE MAP
FRO-2012-03 - DENVER AIRPORT DESIGNS
FRO-2013-01 - UPDATE
FRO-2014-09 - NEW LIVERY
FRO-2015-06 - A320ceo Family Order.jpg
FRO-2017-12 To Buffalo.jpg
FRO-CABIN ATTENDANTS - 1949
FRO-TAILS - 2012-03
Formed in 1950. RESTARTED OPERATIONS IN 1994. DOMESTIC AND REGIONAL, SCHEDULED, PASSENGER, JET AIRPLANE SERVICES.
FRONTIER CENTER ONE
7001 TOWER ROAD
DENVER, COLORADO 80249-7312, USA
USA (United States of America) was established in 1776, it covers an area of 9,363,123 sq km, its population is 280 million, its capital city is Washington DC, and its official language is English.
June 1950: Challenger Airlines began in Wyoming on the last day of 1941 as Summit Airways, a non-scheduled carrier. When its owner, Charles W Hirsig II, died in an air crash on January 15, 1945, Laramie 1st National Bank investor George J Forbes took over and changed the name to Challenger Airlines. Challenger Airelines was moved to Salt Lake City, Utah and bought 3 Douglas DC-3s. It purchased another DC-3 and began full operations in 1947 with service between Salt Lake City, Billings, and Denver with many intermediate stops including Vernal, Cody, and Cheyenne.
After many financial difficulties, the airline merged with Monarch Airlines (MON) and Arizona Airways, was moved to Denver and renamed Frontier Airlines (FRO) on June 1, 1950.
OCTOBER 1995: 2 737-317'S, (GUI) LEASED.
JANUARY 1996: 4TH QUARTER = -$3.6 MILLION (NET LOSS).
LAUNCHED SERVICE TO LOS ANGELES (LAX), SAN FRANCISCO (SFO), SALT LAKE CITY, MINNEAPOLIS (MSP), ORLANDO, CHICAGO (ORD) & PHOENIX (PHX).
MARCH 1996: TO SEATTLE-TACOMA (SEATAC) (737-300, 136 PAX). NOW 7 737'S TO 12 CITIES (5 737-200, 2 737-300).
440 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 175 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 3 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT).
APRIL 1996: 1ST QUARTER = +.816 MILLION. FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1995 = -$5.56 MILLION (NET LOSS).
+2 737-200'S, EX-AERO COSTA RICA, (22733, 22734), (GUI) LEASED (AVERAGE AGE OF FLEET = 23 YEARS).
JUNE 1996: NOW 13 POINTS IN 11 STATES. NEW ROUTES TO ST LOUIS AND SAN DIEGO.
PLAN TO INCREASE FLEET TO 25 IN FEW YEARS. CURRENTLY MAINTENANCE IS DONE BY CONTINENTAL AIRLINES (CAL). CONSIDERING BUILDING OWN HANGAR, IN DENVER, TO DO OWN MAINTENANCE.
ORDERED 3RD 737-300 (APRIL 1997), (ILF) LEASED. +2 ORDERS (APRIL & SEPTEMBER 1997) 737-300'S, BOULLIOUN (BOU) LEASED. 7 737'S MAINTENANCE TO B F GOODRICH (TRAMCO) (BFG).
SEPTEMBER 1996: 2 737-200'S, VASI (VAS) WET-LEASED.
AT ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM), SAM ADDOMS STATED +4 737'S BY APRIL 1997 AND +5 BY JANUARY 1998. 18 TO 21 BY MARCH 1998.
OCTOBER 1996: LEASED 1/3 OF CONTINENTAL AIRLINES (CAL)'S HANGAR AT DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO CATER FOR DOUBLING FLEET.
+29 PERSONNEL EMPLOYED.
NOVEMBER 1996: 1 737-300 (25039), EX-VIRGIN EXPRESS (EBA), (GUI) LEASED, "C" CHECK TRANSITION AND PAINT AT TRAMCO (BFG). "C" CHECK WORK AT (TRAMCO) (BFG) HAS BEEN LATE BECAUSE MECHANICS (MT) HAVE LEFT TO RETURN TO BOEING (TBC).
DECEMBER 1996: 1 737-300, 138 PASSENGERS (PAX), LEASED (10TH). +2 737'S IN APRIL & AUGUST 1997, (ILFC) (ILF) LEASED. +2 737-300'S (JANUARY 1998), BOULLIOUN (BOU) LEASED.
JANUARY 1997: 14TH DESTINATION IN 11 STATES IS BLOOMINGTON /NORMAL EXTENSION OF OMAHA ROUTE.
APRIL 1997: 1 737-300 (CFM56-3C-1) DELIVERY.
MAY 1997: 725 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 225 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 25 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).
1 737-300, (ILF) DELIVERY. 5 737-200'S (19421; 19423; 20212, 20214; 20215) LEASED FROM (S-C) AVIATION THROUGH 1999.
JUNE 1997: FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1996 = -$12.2 MILLION (-$5.6 MILLION). REVENUES OF $116.5 MILLION ELEVATES TO "NATIONAL" CARRIER (>$100 MILLION QUALIFIES). LAST QUARTER = -$3.2 MILLION (+$.816 MILLION).
TO MINNEAPOLIS AND SAN DIEGO.
DISCUSSING POSSIBLE MERGER WITH WESTERN PACIFIC (WPA).
TO ADD +3 737-300'S TO PRESENT 11.
JULY 1997: MERGER SIGNED BETWEEN WESTERN PACIFIC (WPA) WITH FRONTIER (FRO) 31%, BOB PEISER (CEO), WITH SAM ADDOMS AS CONSULTANT, FOR COMBINED FLEET OF 34 737'S, 26 MARKETS OUT OF DENVER, WITH 86 DAILY DEPARTURES BY THE END OF 1997. HQ IN COLORADO SPRINGS.
2ND QUARTER = -$2.1 MILLION (+$1.3 MILLION): DUE TO INCREASED MAINTENANCE COSTS & 10% TICKET TAX. 1ST 6 MONTHS = -$5.4 MILLION (+$2.2 MILLION): +29.6% (RPM) TRAFFIC, +30.1% (ASM) CAPACITY, 61% LF LOAD FACTOR (-.3).
AUGUST 1997: TO BOSTON (737-300, 136 PASSENGERS (PAX).
2 737-300 DELIVERIES. NOW HAS 7 737-200'S & 6 737-300'S.
SEPTEMBER 1997: 1 737-300 DELIVERY.
OCTOBER 1997: MERGER AND CODE SHARE WITH WESTERN PACIFIC (WPA) TERMINATED, DUE TO AIRLINE EMPLOYEE ANIMOSITY, UNABLE TO AGREE ON SENIORITY AND CULTURAL DIFFERENCES.
9 MONTHS = +28.9% (RPM) TRAFFIC, +31.9% (ASM) CAPACITY, 59.7% LF LOAD FACTOR (-1.4), 1.015 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (+20%).
NOVEMBER 1997: NEW ROUTE TO NEW YORK LAGUARDIA AND BALTIMORE.
DECEMBER 1997: OFFERS TO TAKE OVER PART OF WESTERN PACIFIC (WPA) ASSETS (AIRPLANES) BUT LATER WITHDREW OFFER.
WEXFORD MANAGEMENT INFUSES $5 MILLION AS PART OF UP TO $10 MILLION FINANCING AGREEMENT.
1ST FLIGHT TO NEW YORK LAGUARDIA WITH 737-300 (TAIL'S 21 FEET HIGH PHOTO OF WESTERN WILDLIFE).
JANUARY 1998: 4TH QUARTER = -$11.5 MILLION (-$8 MILLION) (NET LOSS). 1997 = 1.026 BILLION (RPM) TRAFFIC (+30.2%), +36.3% (ASM) (CAPACITY), 56.7% LF LOAD FACTOR (-8.7), 1.316 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (+17.7%). USA MARKET SHARE 1997 = 21ST 0.17% (RPM), 26TH LF.
FEBRUARY 1998: 14TH 737-36Q (2989-28760), BOULLIOUN (BOU) LEASED.
APRIL 1998: 750 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 225 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 25 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT).
FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1997 = -$17.7 MILLION (-$12.2 MILLION).
DURING YEAR, INTRODUCED NEW SERVICE TO EAST COAST - BOSTON, NEW YORK LAGUARDIA, & BALTIMORE.
PLANS FOR +3 737'S BY END OF 1998. NOW HAS 7 737-200'S, 7 737-300'S.
JULY 1998: 4TH ANNIVERSARY!
TO SAN DIEGO NONSTOP.
MIKE FAY PROMOTED TO DIRECTOR ENGINEERING. ARNOLD KIHN, TO DIRECTOR SYSTEM MAINTENANCE.
1 ORDER (1998-10) 737-200 (21613), EX-(VAU), INTERLEASED 7 YEAR LEASED.
AUGUST 1998: KEVIN PEDERSON SENIOR MANAGER STATION OPERATIONS, AND JOE VANZONNEVELD BASE MAINTENANCE MANAGER.
OCTOBER 1998: MIKE FAY DIRECTOR ENGINEERING, REPLACING WAYNE ELLIOTT, WHO IS NOW DIRECTOR AVIATION SAFETY & REGULATORY COMPLIANCE.
3RD QUARTER = +$9.9 MILLION (-$2 MILLION) RECORD! +22% (RPM), 63.7% LF (+6.2); MAINTENANCE COSTS = $9.38 MILLION (19.93% OF OPERATING EXPENSES): AVERAGE AIRPLANE UTILIZATION 10.3 HOURS (9.9 HOURS), +24% (ASM) CAPACITY.
NOW HAS 15 737'S WITH +2 IN 1998-12. 1 737-200 (21613), INTERLEASE AV LEASED. +2 737-300, EX-AIR NEW ZEALAND (ANZ) & HELLER FINANCIAL, CHICAGO.
NOVEMBER 1998: NEXT MONTH TO ATLANTA, DALLAS/FORT WORTH (DFW), & LAS VEGAS (737) (FOR TOTAL 18 CITIES SERVED).
737-2P6 (21613), INTERLEASE LEASED.
DECEMBER 1998: POSSIBLE MERGER WITH VANGUARD AIRLINES (VAG), TURNED DOWN, ALTHOUGH W R HAMBRECHT INVESTOR (MAJOR SHARES IN (VAG), DID BUY 8% OF (FRO).
JANUARY 1999: 4TH QUARTER = +$2.5 MILLION (-$11.5 MILLION) RECORD! +33% (RPM); 53.5% LF (+4.1). 1998 = 1.39 BILLION (RPM) (+35.7%); +30.5% (ASM); 59% LF (+2.3); 1.53 MILLION (PAX) (+16.4%).
SEAN MENKE DIRECTOR PLANNING & SCHEDULING, EX-UNITED AIRLINES (UAL).
IN 1999-03, TO START HEAVY MAINTENANCE AT DENVER, AND HIRES 105 MAINTENANCE & STORES PERSONNEL. EXPECTS TO SAVE $1 MILLION/YEAR, & WILL LEASE 71,000 SQ FT, HANGAR SPACE FROM CONTINENTAL AIRLINES (CAL).
IN 1999, WILL REPLACE ITS NON-STAGE 3 737-200'S AND +3 FOR 20 737'S. AVERAGE TRIP LENGTH FROM 802 TO 916 AS MORE PASSENGERS PASS THROUGH THE DENVER HUB.
FEBRUARY 1999: MIKE FAY DIRECTOR AIRCRAFT MANAGEMENT. ARDELL ARFSTEN DIRECTOR QUALITY CONTROL & ENGINEERING.
MARCH 1999: 2 737-228'S, TRITON AVIATION LEASED AND 2 737-300'S, INDIGO LEASED. 3 REPLACED 3 LEASED 737-200'S, 108 PAX, AND 4TH IS AN ADDITION.
APRIL 1999: TOM HENDERSHOT QUALITY ASSURANCE INSPECTOR, NAMED "GENERAL AVIATION MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN OF YEAR" FOR (FAA) NW REGION.
725 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 225 FLIGHT CREW (FC) & 25 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).
737-3U3 (N308FL HAS AN ELK ON TAIL). 737-NPC (N1PC HAS AN ELK ON TAIL). 737-3U3 (N309FL HAS A PUFFIN OR SEA PARROT ON TAIL).
MAY 1999: IN 1999-06 TO PORTLAND, OR (ITS 12TH CITY, USING 19TH 737-3L9, (CIT) (TCI) LEASED.
JUNE 1999: FISCAL YEAR (FY) 1998 = +$30.6 MILLION, 1ST +VE! (-$17.7 MILLION). 1ST QUARTER = +$17.8 MILLION.
+4 NEW MARKETS. NOW HAS 5.3 FLIGHT CONNECTIONS FOR EACH ARRIVING FLIGHT (3.2).
DURING YEAR, +3 737'S FOR TOTAL 17.
JULY 1999: 1ST 6 MONTHS = .95 BILLION (RPM) (+42.5%), +39.9% (ASM), 60.5% LF (+1), 1.06 MILLION (PAX) (+43%). 2ND QUARTER = +$7.6 MILLION (+$400,000) RECORD! +50% (RPM), +49.8% (ASM), 62% LF (FLAT); MAINTENANCE COSTS $13.51 MILLION (20.40% DIRECT OPERATING COSTS (DOC).
737-201 (19423) RETURNED TO (C-S) AVIATION (CSV). 737-2Y5 (23040, N118RW), INDIGO (INZ) LEASED, EX-WINAIR (WII) (WENT OUT OF BUSINESS) AND 1 737-300 (24856), EX-TACA INTERNATIONAL (TAC). PLANS TO RETIRE 5 737-200'S, STAGE 2, & OPERATE 2 737-200'S, 5 737-200'S, AND 12 737-300'S BY 1999-08.
AUGUST 1999: SAM ADDOMS PRESIDENT, NAMED "ROCKY MOUNTAIN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR" BY ERNST & YOUNG.
SEPTEMBER 1999: 745 EMPLOYEES.
2 737-201'S (19421, 20212) RETURNED TO (C-S) AVIATION (CSV).
OCTOBER 1999: 1 ORDER 737-3L9 (26442, N313FL), (INZ) LEASED. 2 737-228'S (23004, N234TR; 23007, N237TR), TRITON LEASED. 10/10 ORDERS A318/A319'S.
NOVEMBER 1999: 2ND 737-300 (26442), EX-(WII) & DEUTSCHE BA (DBA), (INZ) 65 MONTH LEASED. +1 ORDER (2003-02) A318 (PW6124), (ILF) 12 YEAR LEASED. +15 A319'S ORDERS, (GECAS) (GEF) LEASED (2001-10).
JANUARY 2000: LAST 9 MONTHS = +$19.8 MILLION (+$12.8 MILLION). 4TH QUARTER = +$3.2 MILLION: +5.1% (RPM), +2.6% (ASM); +49.2% FUEL COSTS; 10.71 MILLION MAINTENANCE COSTS (15.33% DOC). 1999 = +$32.76 MILLION: 1.99 BILLION (RPM) (+43.3%), +42.6% (ASM), 59.2% LF (+.2), 2.19 MILLION (PAX) (+42.9%).
LETTER OF INTENT (LOI) 4 ORDERS (2/00) 737-300'S (25159; 25256; 25263; 25264), EX-IBERIA (IBE), (GECAS) (GEF) LEASED.
FEBRUARY 2000: TOM JOHNSTON DIRECTOR LINE MAINTENANCE.
2 737-36E'S (PQ341; PQ342), LEASED.
MARCH 2000: 737-36E (25264), EX-VIVA (VIV), (GECAS) (GEF) 44 MONTH LEASED.
APRIL 2000: TO KANSAS CITY (3/DAY). NOW, 96 DAILY FLIGHTS.
725 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 225 (FC), & 25 (MT)).
MAY 2000: NEWLY DESIGNED (http://www.frontierairlines.com).
(LOI) TO BUY (EDS)' VERSATILE INTERNET BOOKING ENGINE BY END OF 2000.
1ST QUARTER = +$6.9 MILLION (-61%): 58.6% LF (FLAT), FUEL COSTS (X2). FY 1999 = +$27 MILLION (-11.6%) (+$31 MILLION).
1 737-300, (ILF) 32 MONTH LEASED. 737-3U3 (28734) RETURNED TO AIR NZ (ANZ).
JUNE 2000: 1 737-3Q8 (2541-26293, /93 25 10, N361PR), EX-PRO AIR (PRR), (ILF) 32 MONTH LEASED.
JULY 2000: IN SEPTEMBER, TO WASHINGTON REAGAN NATIONAL (737-300).
AUGUST 2000: 1 737-3Q8, (ILF) LEASED (2623-26301, N362PR).
SEPTEMBER 2000: 1,640 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 201 FLIGHT CREW (FC), 446 CABIN ATTENDANTS (CA), & 235 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT)).
MIKE COLEY DIRECTOR BASE MAINTENANCE.
NOVEMBER 2000: OPENS OVERNIGHT MAINTENANCE BASE AT PHOENIX.
JANUARY 2000: 4TH QUARTER = +$10.3 MILLION (+232.3%): +43.5% FUEL COSTS; +45.7% (RPM) TRAFFIC; +10% (ASM) CAPACITY; +5.2% AVERAGE FARE. 2000 = 2.67 BILLION (RPK) (+33.6%), +21.9% (ASM), 64.9% LF (+5.7) 2.89 MILLION PASSENGERS (PAX) (+32.6%).
DENVER INTERNATIONAL (10TH LARGEST WORLD AIRPORT), HAD THE HIGHEST INTERNATIONAL PASSENGER GROWTH (+37.7%) TO 689,000.
STEVE ILITS DIRECTOR ENGINEERING & QUALITY CONTROL.
737-3Q8 (N319FL, "FOX" ON ITS TAIL).
MARCH 2001: IN MAY, TO HOUSTON NONSTOP (3/DAY).
APRIL 2001: OPENS NEW 70,000 SQ FT HQ AT DENVER.
DAVID STRAFUSS DIRECTOR ENGINEERING & QUALITY CONTROL (QC), REPLACES STEVE ILITS.
MAY 2001: JEFF POTTER, EX-(CEO) VANGUARD (VAG), REJOINS FRONTIER AIRLINES (FRO) AS EXECUTIVE VP & (COO). MIKE RYER ACTING DIRECTOR AVIATION SAFETY & REGULATORY COMPLIANCE, REPLACES WAYNE ELLIOTT.
FY 2000 = +$54.9 MILLION (+$27 MILLION).
1ST A319 DELIVERY. 2 A319-111'S (1488, N901FR; 1515, N902FR).
JULY 2001: CONTRACT WITH JOUVE FOR INTEGRATED ELECTRONIC MAINTENANCE MANUAL AND JOB CARD SYSTEM FOR A318/A319'S.
CONVERTED 2 OPTIONS A319'S TO FIRM ORDERS.
AUGUST 2001: JEFF POTTER PRESIDENT & (COO).
IN OCTOBER, TO AUSTIN/RENO.
3RD A319 (1560) DELIVERY.
SEPTEMBER 2001: FOLLOWING GROUNDING OF THE USA FLEET AND INDUSTRY DOWNTURN, AFTER THE "9/11" ISLAMIC TERRORIST ATTACK ON NEW YORK WORLD TRADE CENTER (WTC) TOWERS & PENTAGON, FRONTIER AIRLINES (FRO) WILL LAY OFF -440 EMPLOYEES.
1,744 EMPLOYEES (INCLUDING 225 FLIGHT CREW (FC); 472 CABIN ATTENDANTS (CA); 231 MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS (MT); 33 GENERAL MANAGEMENT; 16 AIRPLANE/TRAFFIC HANDLING; 13 AIRPLANE CONTROL; 555 PASSENGER HANDLING; 15 TRAINEES/INSTRUCTORS; 59 RECORD KEEPING; 36 TRAFFIC SOLICITORS; 89 OTHERS). EMPLOYEE PRODUCTIVITY ((ASM)'S/EMPLOYEE): 2,406,303.
TOP 10 FRONTIER AIRLINES (FRO) AIRPORTS:
1 DENVER 2,632; 2 SEA-TAC SEATTLE 336; 3 LOS ANGELES (LAX) 331; 4 SAN FRANCISCO (SFO) 321; 5 PHOENIX 319; 6 DALLAS/FORT WORTH (DFW) 313; 7 LAS VEGAS 289; 8 CHICAGO MIDWAY 216; 9 SALT LAKE CITY 208; 10 SAN DIEGO 208.
A319-112 (1579, N904FR), GECAS (GEF) LEASED.
OCTOBER 2001: STARTS TO RECALL 70 MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES AND STARTS FLYING +2 737-200'S THAT WERE PARKED.
WILLIAM SCHAUDT VP MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING HAS LEFT (FRO), REPLACED BY JOHN BARTRAM. TOM NUNN DIRECTOR SAFETY REPLACES MIKE RYER.
3RD QUARTER MAINTENANCE COSTS = $20.01 MILLION (-10.1%).
2 A319'S DELIVERIES.
DECEMBER 2002: IN FEBRUARY, TO NEW ORLEANS/ - FORT LAUDERDALE/ - SACRAMENTO (A319/737, DAILY).
JANUARY 2001: RON MCCLELLAN, VP MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING, EX-(VAG), (TWA) & CONTINENTAL AIRLINES (CAL).
4TH QUARTER = +$909,000 (+$10.3 MILLION), INCLUDING $2.3 MILLION FROM FEDERAL BAILOUT. WITHOUT 1-TIME ITEMS = -$1.4 MILLION (NARROWER THAN ANALYSTS EXPECTATIONS!): -35.3% FUEL COSTS; MAINTENANCE COSTS = $17.32 MILLION (-2.9%).
FEBRUARY 2002: JEFF POTTER PRESIDENT, WILL BECOME (CEO) IN APRIL. SAM ADDOMS WILL REMAIN AS CHAIRMAN.
(FRO)'S WEBSITE GENERATES 28% OF TOTAL REVENUE.
+1 ORDER (2003-02) A319 (CFM56).
MARCH 2002: (TELEPHONE: (303) 371-7400). (FAX: (303) 371-7007).
IN MAY, TO INDIANAPOLIS (ITS 31ST DESTINATION).
SINCE (PW6000) ENGINES FOR A318'S HAVE BEEN DELAYED UNTIL 2006, (FRO) AMENDS ITS ORDERS TO 5/5 A318'S (CFM56-) WITH DELIVERY IN 2003. 6TH A319 DELIVERY.
APRIL 2002: SITA: DENRRF9.
MAY 2002: 2001 (FY) = +$16.55 MILLION (-70%) (+$54.87 MILLION): -0.6% (RPM); +7.8% (ASM); 60% LF (-5.1).
MAIN BASE: DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (DEN).
June 2002: 2 A319-111's (1759, N908FR "HERON;" 1761, N909FR "GOOSE"), (GEF) leased.
July 2002: Applies for $70 Million credit line, of which 85% would be backed by the USA government.
2001 = +$16.55 Million (+$54.87 Million): 4.36 Billion (RPK) (+1.5%); 60.6% LF; 3 Million PAX (+3.6%); 6.14 Million (FTK) freight -12.2%); 650 employees.
1 A319-111 (1781, N910FR), delivery.
August 2002: In October, non-stops to Tucson, Fort Myers, and Oklahoma City. Applies for 1st international flights to Mexican destinations of Mazatlan, Cancun, and Cabo San Lucas. In October, to San Jose.
September 2002: A319-111 (1803, N912FR), "RED FOX PUP" ON TAIL, (GECAS) (GEF) leased delivery.
October 2002: To install LiveTV in-flight entertainment (IFE) system with 24 channels of DirecTV programming, on its 46 airplanes: A318's & A319's to be completed by 2005.
In December, to Cancun, and Mazatlan (2/week).
1 A319-111 (1863, N913FR) delivery. 2 737-2L9's (22733; 22734) returned to GECAS (GEF).
November 2002: Applies for service to Santa Ana, California. Already serves Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego, and Ontario, in the Golden State.
A319-111 (1841, N914FR) (GECAS) (GEF) leased delivery. A319-111 (1851, N915FR) delivery.
December 2002: A319-111 (1876, N916FR), delivery.
January 2003: Selected (ARINC) to provide a suite of data link communications services for its A319 fleet.
A319-111 (1890, N917FR), delivery.
March 2003: 2,362 employees. (http://www.flyfrontier.com).
737-3Q8 (26293) returned to (ILF), leased to Garuda (GIA). A319-111 (1943, N918FR) delivery.
May 2003: In August, Denver - Milwaukee (3/day nonstops).
Paul Tate, promoted to Senior VP and (CFO). Thomas Nunn VP Aviation Safety & Security.
June 2003: Plans to expand its Mexican service to Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas.
Launch customer with 1st delivery of A318-122, 114Y PAX. 18th A319-111 (1980, N919FR) delivery, (GEF) leased.
Will transfer its maintenance functions for its Boeing airplanes from El Paso to its Denver base in August.
July 2003: Launched FlexCheck, its new suite of airport and Internet-based automated check-in services that use Kinetics TouchPort self-service terminals and associated software solutions.
In November, Denver to Cabo San Lucas and to Puerto Vallarta (3/week nonstop).
1st 2 A318-111's (CFM56) (1939, N801FR; 1991, N802FR) deliveries.
August 2003: Denver - Boise. Denver - Orange County. In November, Denver - St Louis.
Plans for +15/23 orders A319's and may lease +14 more.
2nd A318 delivery. A319-111 (2012, N922FR) GECAS (GEF) leased delivery. 5 orders (2004-02) A319's (CFM56), (ILF) 12 year leased.
September 2003: 2002 = -$22.8 Million (+$16.6 Million): 5.49 Billion (RPK) (+26.2%); +27.6% (ASK); 60% LF (-.6); 3.7 Million PAX (+24.2%); 16 Million (FTK) (+14.3%); 3,100 EMPLOYEES (+10.7%).
2002 TOP WORLD AIRLINES TRAFFIC (RPK) (BILLION):
93 (RAM) 6.38; 94 (EXPRESSJET) 6.36; 95 (QTA) 6.20; 96 (COI) 5.96; 97 (AAL) EAGLE) 5.94; 98 (LOT) 5.87; 99 (FRO) 5.45; 100 (WJI) 5.49; 101 (MAU) 5.34; 102 (ATLANTIC SE) 5.31; 103 (JPL) 5.16.
A318-111 (2017, N803FR), delivery. A319-111 (2010, N921FR) delivery.
October 2003: Denver - St Louis (3/day nonstop), Denver - Cabo San Lucas (weekly).
4th A318-111 (2051, N804FR) delivery. A319-111 (1494, N320NP), VIP config, wet-leased to Blue Moon Aviation, a charter service founded by Richard Page President & (CEO), former President of Champion Air (GRD). Will offer for charter for professional sports teams. Maintenance by (EADS) Aeroframe Services, Lake Charles, Loisiana.
November 2003: Applies for "flag carrier" status to allow operations between 2 international destinations to Alaska & Hawaii, and beyond its previous limit of within 2 hours of the USA border.
Denver - Puerto Vallarta (3/week nonstop).
A319-111 (2019, N923FR), (GEF) leased.
December 2003: 23rd A319, (GEF) leased.
January 2004: Sean Menke Senior VP Marketing. Ann Bock Senior VP In-flight & Administration Services, & Greg Aretakis VP Planning & Revenue Management.
In April, Denver - Washington (IAD), Los Angeles - Kansas City, Minneapolis - St Louis. In May, Denver - Anchorage.
February 2004: Will begin doing overnight maintenance in Kansas City by the end of 2004.
In May, Philadelphia - Denver (2/day) & Philadelphia - Los Angeles (LAX) (daily nonstop).
737-301 (23257) returned to (GEF). 24th A319-111 (2103, N925FR), SALE (SIL) leased. Now total 39 airplanes: 11 737-300's; 4 A318's; & 24 A319's.
March 2004: In June, Denver (DEN) - Nashvilloe (A318, 114Y, 2/day). (DEN) to Billings, Spokane (CRJ700, 70Y, 2/day).
737-36E (25264) returned to (GEF).
April 2004: 3,100 employees. (FAX: +1 (720) 374-4375).
Los Angeles to Kansas City, St Louis, and Minneapolis/St Paul (2/day nonstop). Denver - Washington Dulles (IAD) (2/day nonstop). In July, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, & St Louis - Cancun.
Multiyear agreement with Sabre Airline Solutions for the SabreSonic passenger solution to power its reservations and check-in capabilities. Full implementation is scheduled in the 1st half 2005 and will include core modules covering 4 functions: SabreSonic Res; SabreSonic Check-In; SabreSonic Inventory; & SabreSonic Command.
737-36E (25263) returned to (CIT) (TCI). 5th A318-111 (1660, N805FR) (AFIS) and 25th A319 (ILF) deliveries.
May 2004: Denver - Anchorage (daily nonstop). Enters the "fray" at Philadelphia, where US Airways (USA) is trying to fend off the competition from Southwest Airlines (SWA) and other discounters. One analyst says Frontier Airlines (FRO)'s Philadelphia strategy is a "smart move" because it has only added one flight (Los Angeles - Philadelphia, A319, daily nonstop), meaning losses would be minimal if it has to pull out; (FRO) has added 12 cities and about 100 flights since January 2003. Denver - Philadelphia (2/day non-stop). In July, Salt Lake City & Kansas City to Cancun (weekly non-stops). In November, Denver - Fort Myers.
Captain Jim Sullivan VP Flight Operations, replaces Captain Bill McKinney, who is expected to retire.
Although it has been cited as having the best US mail delivery service, (FRO) will end its service for US Postal Service on 6/30/04 "because it is not profitable enough."
(FY) 2004 = +$12.6 Million (-$22.8 Million).
A318-111 (2218, N806FR) & A319-111 (2209, N927FR) deliveries.
June 2004: Selected SolArc RightAngle for its jet fuel supply management.
Denver - Nashville (A318, 114 PAX, 2/day nonstop).
1 A319-111 (2236, N928FR), (ILF) leased. 3 A319-111's (2240, N929FR; 2241, N930FR; 2258, N932FR), (GEF) leased. A319-111 (2253, N931FR), delivery.
July 2004: In November, Nashville & Austin to Cancun (3/week).
A319-111 (2260, N933FR), (GEF) leased.
August 2004: Denver - Roswell (weekly charter) to support the Federal Air Marshall training facility.
September 2004: A319-111 (2287, N934FR) delivery.
October 2004: Will carry Vacation Express passengers on its Nashville - Cancun scheduled flights in November. Vacation Express currently charters Pace Airlines (PIE) for this route.
737-3L9 (26440, N310FL) returned to Indigo Leasing (INZ). A318-111 (2276, N805FR) & 33rd A319-111 (2318, N935FR) deliveries (GEF) leased. Fleet is now 6 737-300's, 6 A318's & 33 A319's.
November 2004: Austin, Nashville - Cancun (3/week).
December 2004: Selected Perceptive's Handheld (NRC) software for use at its Denver maintenance facility. Handheld (NRC) is expected to go "live" this month.
In February, St Louis - Cancun (3/week).
January 2005: 4th Quarter = -$11.1 Million (+$5.5 Million).
February 2005: 35th & 36th A319-111 (2400) deliveries, (GEF) leased.
March 2005: A319-111 (2406, N938FR), (ILF) leased.
April 2005: Completed its transition to an all-Airbus (EDS) airplane fleet after 4 years.
May 2005: 3,380 employees.
38th A319-111 (2465, N940FR) delivery, (ILF) leased. Fleet is now 7 A318's and 38 A319's.
737-3Q8 (27633, N304FL) returned to (ILF).
June 2005: Denver to San Antonio (2/day non-stops). In December, Denver - Cozumel (3/week).
737-3L9 (24569, N312FL) returned to American Capital Group, leased to Adam Air (DHI). 2 A319-111's (2483, N941FR; 2497, N942FR), (GEF) leased deliveries.
July 2005: Denver - San Antonio (2/day). Applies to expand its Mexico service in 12/05 with nonstop flights Denver to Acapulco with seasonal 2/week. Kansas City to Purto Vallarta (3/week, nonstop).
A319-111 (2518, N943FR) delivery.
August 2005: John Happ Senior VP Marketing & Planning, ex-(ATA) (AAT). Anne McCollum Senior Director Reservations & Customer Support. Bill Schuyler Director Schedules.
4,392 employees (+29.9%).
September 2005: Frontier Airlines (FRO) filed an application with the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for authorization to offer service between Indianapolis and Cancun with 3x-week. It already serves 6 destinations in Mexico and is awaiting (DOT) approval for service to Acapulco.
The 20 USA airlines reporting performance data to the USA Department of Transportation achieved an on-time arrival rate of 75.2% in August, down from 78.3% in August 2004 but noticeably improved over July 2005's rate of 70.9%. Of the 24.8% of flights that were delayed 15 minutes or more, 7.72% were owing to aviation system delays, including weather; 7.05% to late arriving flights; 6.42% to factors within the airline's control; 1.15% to extreme weather, and .007% for security reasons (numbers may not add up due to rounding). Best overall performance was turned in by Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), which delivered passengers to their destinations on-time 97.4% of the time. On the mainland, (FRO) was tops with an 85.1% OTA, followed by (ATA) Airlines (AAT), which although operating in Chapter 11 achieved an 85% rate. The carrier with the worst performance was Atlantic SE Airlines (ASA) at 59.6%, followed by AirTran Airways (CQT) at 64.1% and Northwest Airlines (NWA) at 67.2%. Northwest (NWA) mechanics (MT) went on strike on Aug 20, which probably contributed to the low performance. (ASA) also had the worst completion factor, canceling 8% of its flights, followed by American Eagle and Delta Air Lines (DAL), both at 3.1%. At the top, Hawaiian (HWI) cancelled 0.1% of flights in August, followed by (FRO) at 0.2% and (ATA) (AAT) at 0.3%.
October 2005: Frontier Airlines (FRO) announced increases on 5 routes in coming months. Frequency will increase from Denver to the following destinations: Chicago Midway = Increase from 4x- to 5x-daily from Jan 4th; Dallas Fort Worth = Increase from 5x- to 6x-daily from December 18th; Las Vegas = Increase from 6x- to 7x-daily from January 4th; Phoenix = Increase from 6x- to 7x-daily from Jan 4th; Salt Lake City = Increase from 4x- to 5x-daily from November 6th. Phoenix and Las Vegas now are (FRO)'s most popular markets with 7x-daily.
(FRO) returned to the black in its fiscal 2nd quarter ended September 30, earning +$6.9 million compared to a net loss of -$2.1 million in the year-ago period.
It marked (FRO)'s best financial performance in 7 quarters, but (FRO) warned it expects to post a loss in the December quarter that likely will exceed its September quarter profit "in magnitude" owing to higher fuel prices and disruption of its services to Cancun by Hurricane Wilma.
Total revenue jumped +20.3% to $258.4 million on strong passenger traffic, up +11.6% (RPM) to 1.94 billion (RPM)s, and mainline yield rose +8.8% to 11.69 cents. Capacity grew just +5.7% to 2.52 billion (ASM)s, pushing load factor up 4.7 LF points and contributing to a +14.9% rise in mainline (RASM) to 9.33 cents.
Operating expenses climbed +13.9% to $244.8 million driven by a +59% jump in fuel expense. Cost per (ASM) increased +8.1% to 8.68 cents, but actually declined -4.9% to 5.86 cents excluding fuel. Operating income was +$13.6 million, reversing an operating loss of -$0.6 million in 2004.
For the fiscal 1st half ended September 30, (FRO) netted +$4.2 million compared to a loss of -$8.7 million a year earlier.
November 2005: Frontier Airlines (FRO) plans to sell $80 million worth of unsecured convertible debentures due in 2025. In addition, it will grant its underwriters, led by Morgan Stanley and co-manager Citigroup Global Markets, the option to purchase an additional $12 million in debt. The interest rate, conversion rate and offering price will be determined by (FRO) and its underwriters, (FRO) said.
Separately, in perhaps the 1st round of its impending confrontation with Southwest Airlines (SWA) in Denver, (FRO) announced it is cutting fares to each of its 47 domestic destinations to as little as $59 one way and to $99 one way to 6 Mexican destinations. The prices are subject to advance purchase restrictions and are available through March 8.
December 2005: (ARINC) announced a contract renewal with Frontier Airlines (FRO) for its OpCenter Messenger Service, an Internet-based system allowing dispatchers to send, receive and manage data link message exchanges with airplanes and host pre-departure clearances.
Austrian Airlines (AUL) introduced the United Airlines (UAL) Corporate Solutions system in North America for tracking and managing corporate sales and contract information and communication with customers. New Mexico-based Prism Group provides the technology for the system. (FRO) is deploying a similar system also using Prism technology.
(FRO) named Christopher Collins senior VP Operations. He came from JetBlue Airways (JBL), where he was VP System Operations.
(FRO) inaugurated nonstop service from Denver to Cozumel on December 17th. (FRO) operates a weekly Saturday service with an A319. (FRO) inaugurated nonstop service from Denver to Acapulco on December 18th and operates weekly, Thursday and Sunday services with an A319.
(FRO) is looking at expanding its services to Canada in January 2006. Will look at flights to Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver. Canada is a good generator of traffic to Mexico. (FRO) will face competition in Denver from United Airlines (UAL) who are expected to emerge from bankruptcy next year.
(FRO) serves 48 destinations in 28 states and 5 cities in Mexico from its Denver hub.
January 2006: Frontier Airlines (FRO) mechanics (MT), represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, approved a 3-year labor contract. The agreement was reached in December and includes a +3% pay raise over the life of the deal, re-institution of a company 401(k) match, increased pension contributions and other benefits, according to media reports.
Separately, Frontier (FRO) intends to begin serving 5 cities in Canada in late May, according to the "Rocky Mountain News." (FRO) also intends to acquire additional gates at Denver International Airport in 2006 and add 3 destinations to its domestic network.
(FRO) reported a +9.4% increase in December passenger traffic (RPM)s to 620.4 million from 567.3 million. Capacity rose +8.8% to 874.8 million (ASM)s and load factor improved 0.3 point to 70.9% LF. (RASM) increased +6.9% to 8.18 cents and yield was up +6.3% to 11.53 cents. For 2005, passenger traffic rose +14.7% to 7.21 billion (RPM)s, capacity grew +8.8% to 9.58 billion (ASM)s and load factor climbed 3.9 points to 75.3% LF. (RASM) was ahead +9.5% to 8.09 cents and yield rose +3.9% to 10.75 cents.
(FRO) reversed course in the 4th Q, its fiscal 3rd quarter ended December 31, posting a loss of -$10.3 million for the period after a profitable September quarter in which it earned +$6.9 million. At that time, however, (FRT) warned that it would lose money in the fall period. The deficit was slightly improved from a year-ago loss of -$11.1 million. President & (CEO) Jeff Potter said positive indicators like a +19.4% rise in mainline passenger revenue to +$217.8 million were offset by several "aberrations to our fiscal performance," including a +35% jump in fuel costs, a -$1.5 million unrealized loss on fuel hedges and an estimated loss of -$6 million in revenue owing to Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. Total revenues for the quarter climbed +18.6% to +$246.9 million as expenses grew +15.7% to $258.6 million, resulting in an operating loss of -$11.7 million, narrowed -23.7% from a -$15.3 million loss in the year-ago quarter. Passenger traffic rose +9.2% to 1.77 billion (RPM)s, capacity was up +8.6% to 2.46 billion (ASM)s and load factor was virtually flat at 72.1% LF. Total yield per (ASM) advanced +10.3% to 9.08 cents against a (CASM) increase of +5.9% to 9.32 cents, or 6.17 cents excluding fuel, a drop of -4%. Frontier (FRO)'s nine-month numbers included a net loss of -$6.1 million, an impressive +69% improvement from a -$19.7 million loss in the year-ago period. Revenues were up +21.3% to $655.3 million and expenses climbed +16% to $741 million. Potter remained steadfast in the face of Southwest Airlines (SWA)'s arrival in Denver, saying, "It has taken our company and all of our employees several years of hard work and effort to become the preferred carrier for an ever-increasing number of travelers in Denver and we don't intend to cede that position." Looking ahead, he said (FRO)'s "positive momentum" should generate "better earnings results than last year's March quarter, with results expected to be approximately breakeven" assuming fuel costs remain at an average of $2 per gallon.
February 2006: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will become a subsidiary of Frontier Airlines Holdings, a new Delaware corporation, according to a reorganization plan approved Tuesday by (FRO)'s board. There will no anticipated effect on shareholders, who must approve the plan at a meeting tentatively scheduled for March 27.
Denver Airport (DEN) handled >43 million passengers last year, up +2.6% from 2004. Both 2004 and 2005 were the busiest years on record for the airport. December also set a record for the busiest ever with 3,546,529 passengers, up +1.5% from the year-ago month. During 2005, individual monthly records were set in 10 of the 12 months. Flight operations at the airport inched upward during 2005, totaling 567,610 for the year, +0.2% more than in 2004. Cargo was down slightly for the year.
(DEN)'s co-manager of aviation Vicki Braunage, said the airport can "resume its planning for growth" now that United Airlines (UAL) has emerged from bankruptcy. Officials say such planning will include a review of the airport as a system, including highways, parking, the train, terminal, concourses and other facilities.
(FRO) announced a firm order for 6 new A320s and the exchange of 8 existing A319 orders for 4 A318s and 4 A320s. Delivery of (FRO)'s 1st A320 is scheduled for 2008, with deliveries continuing through 2011 by which time it will operate 11 A318s, 49 A319s and 10 A320s.
"This announcement is exciting for us for a number of reasons, including our taking the next step in our growth strategy by ordering the larger A320 airplane," President & (CEO) Jeff Potter said. "We have reached an optimal level of frequencies in several of our most popular markets and the A320 will provide us an opportunity to continue to expand while maximizing the economies of scale that the A320 can offer. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we are adding 4 new A318 airplanes to our existing fleet, allowing us the flexibility to ensure we are 'right-sizing' our markets. The flexibility of the A320 family is an integral part of our growth plans and we are eager to take the next step with this new order."
(FRO) released a revised delivery schedule along with the announcement. It will take 1 A319 this year, 6 A319s and 1 A318 in 2007, 3 A318s and 2 A320s in 2008, 1 A320 in 2009, 5 A320s in 2010 and 2 A320s in 2011. (FRO) said the order is subject to its own confirmation on March 31. If it chooses not to proceed, the agreement will revert to the 8 A319 orders.
A319-111 (2700, N944FR), (GEF) leased.
March 2006: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will launch 2x-daily, Denver - Calgary service from May 25. Flights will be operated by Horizon Air as Frontier JetExpress.
(FRO) named Roger Morenc Senior Director Revenue & Market Management. He comes from (ATA) Airlines (AAT).
April 2006: Frontier Airlines (FRO) shareholders approved a plan to establish Frontier Airlines Holdings, a Delaware corporation that will be (FRO)'s parent. The new company will trade on Nasdaq as (FRNT). Shareholders in (FRO) will hold the same number and percentage of shares in the new company, which began trading recently.
(FRO) is increasing frequency and/or capacity from Denver, including the launch of a new service to Calgary on May 25 and the resumption of flights to Anchorage on May 6. Frequencies will be added on routes to the following destinations: Nashville, Portland, Seattle, San Jose, San Francisco, New York LaGuardia, Detroit Metro, San Diego, Minneapolis/St Paul and Indianapolis. Services to the following cities will be upgraded from CRJ700s to A318s/A319s: Austin, Spokane, Dayton and San Jose.
A319-111 (2751, N945FR), (GEF) leased.
May 2006: Frontier Airlines (FRO) said its April (RASM) increased +6.8% to 8.27 cents as yield climbed +1.1% to 10.25 cents and passenger traffic grew +27% to 707.7 million (RPM)s. Capacity increased +20.1% to 877.4 million (ASM)s and load factor rose +4.4 points to an April record 80.7% LF.
Frontier Airlines Holdings posted a -$14 million net loss for its fiscal year ended March 31, a disappointing result but much improved over a net loss of -$23.4 million in the previous fiscal year. "Although we made progress in all facets of our business, it was not enough to offset the many challenges that face the industry and our company," President & (CEO) Jeff Potter said.
Annual revenues increased +19.3% to $994.3 million, while expenses grew +16.5% to just over $1 billion, producing an operating loss of -$7.9 million, narrowed from a loss of -$26.5 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2005. Total yield rose +5.6% to 12.38 cents on a +12.8% jump in (RPM)s passenger traffic. With capacity (ASM)s up +8.7%, load factor climbed +2.8 points to 75% LF. Mainline (RASM) increased +10.3% while cost per (ASM) lifted +8.7% to 9.36 cents. (CASM) excluding fuel costs, decreased -2.7% to 6.21 cents, however.
(FRO)'s 4th-quarter net loss widened to -$7.9 million from a net loss of -$3.7 million in the year-ago period, and it alluded to the arrival of Southwest Airlines (SWA) at Denver (DIA), as a factor in the deeper loss. "In an industry that has trended towards overall reduced capacity, (DIA) was an anomaly, adding the 2nd-greatest number of seats of the top 33 airports in the country on a year-over-year basis," Potter said.
Quarterly revenues increased +15.5% to $252.5 million as expenses grew +18% to $261.1 million, producing an operating loss of -$8.6 million, down from an operating loss of -$2.8 million for the year-ago period. Fourth-quarter yield rose +1.5% to 12.43 cents on a +14% lift in (RPM)s. (ASM)s increased +36.5% and load factor was flat at 73.3% LF. Mainline (RASM) was ahead +2.2% for the quarter, while mainline (CASM) rose +4.2% to 9.14 cents and (CASM), excluding fuel costs, dropped -6.3% to 6.26 cents.
Potter predicted a "return to profitability in the current June quarter" and said the summer ahead will be the busiest in (FRO)'s 12-year history.
(FRO) announced the launch of its 1st point-to-point California flight, a 5x-daily, Los Angeles - San Francisco service beginning June 29. It will hire +40 new employees at Los Angeles (LAX) and "over +40" at San Francisco (SFO) for positions that previously were outsourced. It will expand ticket counter space and kiosk availability at both airports.
(FRO) unveiled a new website that it intends to be the "primary driver" of ticket sales. "Our goal with the new site is to increase our Web bookings by over +40% in the next year, which would reflect a significant savings for us in terms of distribution costs," President and (CEO) Jeff Potter said.
(FRO) finalized its February deal with Airbus (EDS) for 6 new A320s and the conversion of 8 existing A319 orders into 4 A318s and 4 A320s. (FRO) also will acquire 3 additional A319s from leasing companies. It will take delivery of the A318s next year and the 10 A320s from 2008 through 2010.
(FRO) selected the (CFM56-5B) to power 6 new A320s scheduled for delivery between 2008 and 2010. List price for the order is $75 million. The carrier placed an order for 6 A320s in February and converted orders for 4 A319s into an additional 4 A320s. It already operates 52 (CFM56-5B)-powered A318s and A319s.
June 2006: Frontier Airlines (FRO) said its May yield rose +3% over the year-ago month to 10.31 cents and (RASM) increased +7.6% to 8.23 cents. Passenger traffic grew +24.2% to 763.7 million (RPM)s against a +19% rise in capacity to 956.8 million (ASM)s, sending load factor up +3.3 points to 79.8% LF.
Denver International Airport (DEN)'s 43.3 million passengers in 2005 contributed to a record operating revenue of $494.5 million for the year, up +3.5% from 2004, according to a recent audit. The audit attributed the increase to higher income from concessions, parking and car rentals, all resulting from the +2.6% (RPM) increase in passenger traffic. Operating expenses, including personnel costs, electricity and natural gas, fuel, and repair and maintenance costs, increased to $231 million, a gain of +4.5% over 2004. Operating income before depreciation and amortization, was a record $263.4 million, an increase of +2.7%.
More passengers, coupled with flat debt-service payments and staying within budget, lowered (DEN)'s cost per enplaned passenger for the fifth straight year, according to the airport. The average cost per enplaned passenger for all airlines in 2005 was $12.90, compared with $15.28 in 2001.
Airlines shared in the success. The airport shares the net revenue with its tenant airlines, which receive 75% of net revenue up to $40 million per year. In 2005, the net revenue available was a record $79.06 million. (DEN)'s share was $39.06 million.
The USA Department of Transportation tentatively selected Delta Air Lines (DAL), Frontier Airlines (FRO), and JetBlue Airways (JBL), to operate new USA - Mexico flights that were granted in last December's revised air services treaty between the countries. Delta (DAL) was selected to operate Los Angeles (LAX) - Puerto Vallarta flights, Frontier (FRO) was awarded (LAX) - San Jose del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (SJD) service (with A319), and JetBlue (JBL) was given New York (JFK) - Cancun flights. Any objections to the tentative awards are due within 10 days.
(FRO) launched 5x-daily service between Los Angeles and San Francisco aboard A319s.
July 2006: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will launch weekly seasonal San Diego - Cancun service from December 16 and will operate 1 flight a week departing San Diego on Saturdays and Cancun on Sundays.
A319-111 (2836, N948FR), delivery.
August 2006: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will launch 4x-weekly Denver (DEN) - Guadalajara service December 22. It added a 7th daily flight from (DEN) to Dallas/Fort Worth, and this month will add a 6th daily flight to Chicago Midway and seventh daily flights to Phoenix and Las Vegas. 2x-daily flights to Tucson will upgrade to all-mainline service on August 20. It will suspend St Louis - Cancun service on August 7 and resume it on November 18 with 3x-weekly flights.
(FRO) will launch Saturday Kansas City - Cabo San Lucas service on December 16.
A319-111 (2857, N949FR), delivery.
September 2006: Frontier (FRO) received Department of Transportation (DOT) Authority to begin operations from Los Angeles to San Lucas and will inaugurate nonstop service on December 9th and operate a daily flight using its A319.
(FRO) placed a firm order with Bombardier for 10 74-seat Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 turboprops with 10 options and said it plans to launch a wholly owned subsidiary carrier to operate the airplanes.
The new unnamed airline will "use its fleet of Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s to bring low-cost service to under served markets in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region," Frontier (FRO) said. "The subsidiary expects to serve as many as 18 destinations using the new airplanes and to create +300 - +400 new jobs." Destinations will be announced at a later date.
"This airplanes purchase will enable our service to grow by giving (FRO) access to regional leisure and business travel destinations, that were previously inaccessible to us, but are ideally suited for the economics of the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400," President & (CEO) Jeff Potter said.
The 1st Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 is scheduled for delivery in May 2007, with subsequent deliveries continuing through next year. The 10 airplanes will be in service by December 2007. Deliveries of the option airplanes, if exercised, would begin in March 2008.
The (FRO) brand name will be used for the new service, with the airplane painted in its livery with animals on the tails, but the subsidiary will have its own operating certificate to as many as 18 destinations. Potter said cooperation with Horizon Air, the Alaska Air (ASA) Group subsidiary, that operates some Frontier JetExpress regional services using CRJ-700s, was considered but rejected. "While we did approach our partners at Horizon about the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 operation, because they also operate Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s, we concluded that we could drive this growth strategy more cost-effectively by purchasing and operating the airplanes under the Frontier Airlines (FRO) Holdings umbrella," he explained.
(FRO) said it is seeking a partner or partners to operate up to 20 RJs "to either augment or replace" the 9 CRJ-700s operated by Horizon. "Our 12-year contract with Horizon Air allows for either party to initiate a review of the terms for changes to be agreed to after 3 years, and we are currently in discussions with Horizon in this regard," Senior VP and (CFO) Paul Tate said. "We intend to distribute a request for proposal to Horizon Air and other RJ operators within the next 30 days that will enable us to execute our growth strategy."
October 2006: Frontier Airlines (FRO) said its fiscal 2nd quarter earnings will be lower than forecast as a result of the August terrorist threat. The company earned $4 million in the quarter ended June 30. "We had expected our September quarter results to be in line with our June quarter earnings of $.10 per diluted common share, but due to the developments in the month of September we now expect earnings to fall between $0.01 and $0.05 per diluted common share, excluding the impact of unrealized fuel derivative gains and losses," President and (CEO) Jeff Potter said. Yield was up +0.6% during the month to 10.38 cents, but passenger (RASM) fell -4.2% to 7.02 cents.
(FRO) said it is focusing on boosting Mexican services and "will have over 86 flights a week to Mexico from Denver alone," according to Potter. Given the "strength" in Mexico service, "we expect our December quarterly results will be at or near breakeven, a significant improvement over last year's quarterly results."
USA legacy carriers have made substantial progress in becoming more competitive but still trail low-cost carriers in a number of areas related to labor efficiency, a new analysis by the USA Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) confirms. The analysis, based on Form 41 data filed by 7 network carriers, and 7 budget airlines, reveals that Low Cost Carriers (LCC)s reduced the number of full-time-equivalent employees (FTE) per airplane by -16%, from 92 in the 1st quarter of 2001 to 77 in the 1st quarter of 2006, while the network carriers reduced their (FTE)s per airplane by -23% but still averaged 99 at the end of the study period, +28.6% higher than the (LCC) group.
Among network carriers, United Airlines (UAL) showed the largest gain as (FTE)s dropped -27.5% from 160 to 116. US Airways (USA) (which was counted in the network group, while America West Airlines (AMW) was included in the (LCC) group), and Northwest Airlines (NWA) had the fewest employees per airplane at the end of the 1st quarter with 82.
In terms of percentage reduction in (FTE)s, JetBlue Airways (JBL) led the low-cost group as it went from 127 in 2001 to 95 in 2006. In numeric terms, however, most (LCC)s did better: Spirit Airlines (SPR) had 62 (FTE)s per airplane as of the 2006 1st quarter, followed by AirTran Airways (CQT) (64), Southwest Airlines (SWA) (70) and America West (AMW) (83).
The (LCC)s also boarded an average of +67% more passengers per (FTE) than their network counterparts, 195 to 117. (SWA) led all airlines at 234 enplanements per (FTE) in the 1st quarter, up from 203 5 years earlier. On a percentage basis, (CQT) performed better, rising from 173 to 220. Among network airlines, (USA) led the group with 149 enplanements and (UAL) lagged at 102, although this was up from 65 in 2001. Overall, the network group improved from an average of 85 enplanements per (FTE) to 117, while the (LCC) group rose from 164 to 195.
Turning to compensation (salary plus benefits), network carriers reduced their annual compensation cost gap to $7,514 compared to $22,139 in 2001, (BTS) reported. (SWA)'s average annual compensation led the industry at $95,555. Among legacy airlines, (NWA) was highest at $91,613, and (USA) was the lowest at $73,642. Among the (LCC)s, (FRO) had the lowest average employee compensation at $55,432 and AirTran (CQT) was 2nd-lowest at $59,637.
(FRO) selected Discover the World Marketing to market its Denver - Calgary service in Canada.
(FRO) filed an application with the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for authorization to fly from Sacramento and San Jose to Cabo San Lucas (Mexico). If approved, the airline plans on inaugurating service in March 2007 with nonstop flights a week from Sacramento and 4 nonstop flights a week from San Jose.
(FRO) will inaugurate nonstop service from San Francisco to Las Vegas on December 14th and operate 1 daily flight using an A319.
November 2006: Frontier (FRO) named Dennis Crabtree VP Safety & Security.
AirTran Airways (CQT) and (FRO) have linked their loyalty programs and created a phone/Web-based referral system that will make both networks available to customers of either airline, a move the pair called a "landmark marketing partnership between low-cost carriers (LCC)s."
(FRO) said that its flight attendants (CA)s voted against representation by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). Of 887 eligible flight attendants (CA), 334 voted in favor of the (IBT) and two voted for alternative representation, the airline said. The vote follows four previous rejections of representation by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA).
(FRO) will launch daily San Francisco - Las Vegas service on December 14. (FRO) received Department of Transportation (DOT) final authority and announced it will inaugurate nonstop service from Sacramento to Cabo San Lucas with 3x-weekly, and from San Jose to Cabo San Lucas with 4x-weekly, starting on March 3rd and using an A319.
December 2006: Frontier (FRO) will inaugurate nonstop service from Denver to Hartford on March 2nd, operating a daily service using an A319.
January 2007: Frontier Airlines (FRO) was hit hard by last month's Denver snowstorms and suffered a -$14.4 million net loss in its 3rd fiscal quarter ended December 31, widened from a -$10.3 million loss in the year-ago period.
(FRO) cancelled 875 flights in December due to inclement weather estimated to have reduced revenue by some -$12.2 million. President & (CEO) Jeff Potter admitted it was "the greatest challenge in our history" save for "9/11."
He said recently announced initiatives including a regional flying agreement with Republic Airlines and a marketing and referral partnership with AirTran Airways (CQT) "will have a substantially positive impact on our future ability to generate incremental revenue through our hub."
(FRO) reached a 4-year tentative labor agreement with the (FRO) Pilots (FC) Association that union President Jeffrey Thomas said "provides significant improvement to our pilots' retirement benefits, preserves our scheduling and work rules and improves the job protections our pilots (FC) have earned."
(FRO) chose Republic Airlines to operate 17 76-seat Embraer E170s, starting in March. Scheduling and marketing of the new service will be done by Frontier (FRO), which will pay for capacity at a pre-determined rate. The last of the E170s will be flying by December 2008. Last September, (FRO) ended its code share agreement with Horizon Air, which operated 9 CRJ-700s for (FRO). "While we enjoyed a great relationship with Horizon, we are thrilled that our new partners at Republic can offer us the same level of service as well as the additional capacity we need to make our growth plans a reality," (FRO) President & (CEO) Jeff Potter said. (FRO) also plans to launch a wholly owned regional airline subsidiary, with 10 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 turboprops by mid-year.
(FRO) started weekly San Diego - Cancun, daily Los Angeles - Cabo San Lucas and daily San Francisco - Las Vegas flights. Starting February 16, Denver - Atlanta increased to 4x-daily. Will begin daily Denver - Hartford service from March 2nd aboard an A319. Starting March 3rd, 3x-weekly, Sacramento - Cabo San Lucas; & San Jose - Cabo San Lucas. Starting March 4th Denver - Albuquerque, increased to 6x-daily; Denver - Indianapolis, increased to 4x-daily; & Denver - Omaha, increased to 5x-daily. Starting April 1st, new 2x-daily Denver- Louisville, using E170s. Starting April 15th, Denver to Little Rock, increased to 3x-daily; to Los Angeles, increased to 7x-daily; to Orange County, increased to 4x-daily; & to San Francisco, increased to 6x-daily; Las Vegas to San Francisco, 2x-daily. Starting May 4th, Denver to Billings increased to 4x-daily, using CRJ-700s; to Minneapolis, increased to 4x-daily. (FRO) will launch daily Denver - Vancouver service on May 5 aboard A319s. Starting May 12th, new 2x-daily, Denver - Memphis; new 5x-weekly, Memphis - Las Vegas; & new daily Memphis - Orlando. Starting June 26th, Denver to San Jose, increased to 4x-weekly, using A318/A319S; to Seattle, increased to 5x-weekly, using A319s. Starting July 1st, Denver to Milwaukee, increased to 3x-weekly, using A318/A319s. Starting July 3rd, Denver to Sacramento, increased to 4x-weekly. Starting July 6th, Denver to Boise, increased to 3x-weekly, using CRJ-700s; to Nashville, increased to 4x-weekly, using A319s.
February 2007: Frontier Airlines (FRO) said the Frontier Airline (FRO) Pilots Association ratified a new 4-year collective bargaining agreement with 67% of those voting approving the deal, which goes into effect next month.
22 additional carriers reportedly have joined AirTran Airways (CQT), Alaska Airlines (ASA), (ATA) Airlines (AAT), Frontier Airlines (FRO), Midwest Airlines (MWX), Southwest Airlines (SWA), and US Airways Group (AMW)/(USA) in filing a joint complaint with the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) opposing new terminal charges at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which this week broke ground on a $723.5 million renovation of its Bradley International Terminal. (LAX) raised fees on February 1 to help pay for "much-needed airport improvements," operator Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) said in a statement in response to this month's original (DOT) filing by the initial seven carriers. "In recent years, (LAWA) has absorbed the increasing costs to maintain and operate its terminals and other facilities at (LAX) without passing these costs on to airline tenants," it said.
But the 7 airlines "estimate the collective financial impact [of the new charges] over the next 15 to 20 years at >$1 billion, with a near-tripling of charges from $20 million to $56 million in the 1st year alone," they said in a joint statement. "(LAWA) is not a private commercial landlord," their (DOT) filing noted. "Rather, (LAWA) is a public utility with monopoly power over the airlines wishing to serve (LAX) given access to (LAX) on fair and nondiscriminatory terms is essential." (LAWA) responded that while the new charges "may not be well received by some airlines," its previous model for assessing rent "is outdated and does not reflect the current aviation environment."
A318-111 (3038, N808FR), and A319-111 (3028, N950FR), deliveries.
March 2007: Frontier Airlines (FRO) authorized the repurchase of up to 300,000 shares of outstanding common stock. The repurchased shares will be contributed to the carrier's employee stock ownership plan.
April 2007: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will launch flights from Memphis to Denver (2x-daily), Las Vegas (daily) and Orlando International (daily) from May 12 and will operate 3x-weekly Dallas/Fort Worth - Mazatlan service from June 7 aboard A319s.
(FRO) signed a 4-year distribution agreement with Expedia.
A318-111 (3092, N809FR), delivery.
May 2007: Fiscal Year (FY) revenue increased +17% to $1.17 billion as expenses climbed +18% to $1.18 billion, producing an operating loss of -$9.8 million, widened from -$7.9 million in the year-ago quarter.
Mainline traffic grew +14.7% to 8.53 billion (RPM)s on a +14.4% lift in capacity to 11.31 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 75.4% LF, up +0.2 point. Yield was ahead +3.3% to 12.62 cents, as (RASM) rose +3.6% to 9.52 cents, and (CASM) lifted +3.9% to 9.49 cents. (CASM) excluding fuel, increased +2.9% to 6.46 cents.
Potter said Frontier (FRO) remains on track to launch subsidiary "Lynx Air," which is slated to serve nine destinations by year end.
"Lynx Aviation," the startup regional subsidiary of Frontier Airlines (FRO), selected Rockwell Collins to provide its Head-up Guidance System for 10 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s. Installation on the 1st airplane is expected to be completed in July.
Starting August 15th, Denver - Baton Rouge, using A319s.
A318-111 (3110, N810FR), delivery.
June 2007: Starting November 30th, Denver - San Jose, Costa Rica, using A319s.
B/E Aerospace said that it has been selected to provide main cabin retrofit and new-buy seating programs for some 250 airplanes by US Airways (AMW)/(USA), Frontier Airlines (FRO), and AirAsia (ASW) in contracts collectively valued at >$70 million. The (AMW)/(USA) deal includes retrofitting A320s and equipping new-buy single-aisle airplanes with economy (Y) and first class (F) seating. The contract with (FRO) covers retrofitting A318s and A319s as well as equipping A320s with economy seating (Y). The (ASW) award is a follow-on order for economy seating (Y) for new-buy A320s.
(FRO) will retrofit its A318/A319 fleet with lighter seats in an effort to cut annual fuel costs by $5.4 million. The 18-month project is expected to begin later this year, and is projected to reduce weight by up to 1,588 lbs on the A319, and up to 1,372 lbs on the A318. Each of the 3-seat sets supplied by B/E Aerospace weighs about -36 lbs less than existing seats.
New A320s scheduled to enter the fleet from March 2008 also will feature the lightweight seats, a (FRO) spokesperson confirmed. (FRO) will add 4 seats to each of its Airbus airplanes, reducing overall pitch at the rear by about 1 inch. It has touted extra legroom in advertising and promotion, with seat pitch up to 33 inches, but the added seats are expected to help boost revenue by some +$10 million in the 1st year.
Recently, (FRO) started charging $25 for paper tickets and raised the booking fee for phone reservations to $10 from $5. (CEO) Jeff Potter said during an investor webcast that the company continues to explore other revenue-producing opportunities, including "enhancing website shopping features." It plans to introduce inflight e-mail and text messaging capabilities. (FRO)'s new regional subsidiary "Lynx Aviation" is expected to begin operation by the fall with new Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s. Potter said he expects it to generate an estimated +$110 million in annual revenue and provide 60% to 70% feed to the overall operation. "We believe to this day we can be the lowest-cost provider with this airplane," he said.
Frontier (FRO) reported a net loss of -$20.4 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, with fuel costs soaring +22% to $343 million.
A318-111 (3163, N812FR), delivery.
July 2007: Frontier Airlines (FRO) said that Wichita, Rapid City and Sioux City will be among the 1st cities served by its "Lynx Aviation" subsidiary, which will begin operating this fall with 74-seat Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s. 3x-daily Denver - Wichita flights will begin October 1, while service to Rapid City (2x-daily) and Sioux City (2x-daily) will start October 5. (FRO) placed an order for 10 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s last fall and said Lynx eventually may serve up to 18 destinations.
(FRO) President & (CEO) Jeff Potter said the company sent out Requests for Proposals (RFP)s to 65 potential destinations and heard back from 62. "We had to narrow down this great list of opportunities, to what will ultimately be about 9 new cities that we will serve with the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 by December 2007," he said. Lynx expects to take delivery of all 10 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s by year end, and said it expects to unveil new destinations "in the coming months."
Senior VP Marketing & Planning John Happ said the regional service "represent[s] a critical step in our diversification plan. These high-yield, smaller-density markets can leverage the strengths of our Denver hub by taking advantage of not only the nonstop Denver service, but also the tremendous connecting opportunities our hub can offer." Lynx already has received conditional USA Department of Transportation approval to operate the Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 service and said it is "currently in the process" of securing USA (FAA) approval.
(FRO) named ex-Horizon Air, VP Marketing & Planning Patrick Zachwieja as VP Market Planning.
The USA General Services Administration awarded 1-year contracts worth a combined $2.02 billion to 14 domestic carriers effective October 1. Contracts cover federal travelers on official business and went to United Airlines (UAL) ($661.1 million), American Airlines (AAL) ($389.7 million), Delta Air Lines (DAL) ($370.5 million), US Airways (AMW)/(USA) ($314.7 million), Alaska Airlines (ASA) ($54.5 million), Northwest Airlines (NWA) ($35.8 million), AirTran Airways (CQT) ($36.5 million), Frontier Airlines (FRO) ($17.4 million), ExpressJet Airlines, (Continental Airlines (CAL) subsidiary) ($8.8 million), Midwest Airlines (MWX) ($4.1 million), JetBlue Airways (JBL) ($2.9 million), Mesa Air Group ($2.5 million), ATA Airlines (AAT) ($756,486), and North American Airlines (NNA) ($223,205).
August 2007: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will launch daily, Denver - West Palm Beach service on November 15 aboard an A319.
(FRO) President & (CEO) Jeff Potter, who joined (FRO) in 1995 as VP Marketing and assumed his current position in April 2002, will step down on September 6 in order "to accept a new position outside of the airline industry,"(FRO) announced, adding that the board already has launched its search for a successor. Potter will remain on the board. He left Frontier (FRO) in May 2000 to become President & (CEO) of Vanguard Airlines (VAN), spending a year with the now-defunct carrier before returning to (FRO) as (COO). "I am proud that I am leaving a very healthy company at the dawn of what I firmly believe will be the most exciting phase of its growth," he said.
(FRO) named Air Canada (ACN) Executive VP Commercial Strategy Sean Menke President & (CEO), replacing Jeff Potter, who will resign September 6 to become (CEO) of luxury vacation home provider, Exclusive Resorts. Menke previously worked for (FRO) from January 1999 to June 2005, when he left his post as Senior VP & (COO) to become Air Canada (ACN)'s (CCO). Potter, who announced earlier this month that he was leaving (FRO) will remain on (FRO)'s board. Menke will become a member of the board.
"The highest praise that I can give Sean is to say that he is 1 of the few people to whom I would hand over the reins of a company that I care about as deeply and passionately as I do (FRO)," Potter said. "His past accomplishments at (FRO) are numerous." Prior to joining (FRO) in 1999, Menke served in various marketing and operational roles at United Airlines (UAL), Western Pacific Airlines, and America West Airlines (AMW).
Bombardier (BMB) announced delivery of the 1st of 10 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s (4168, N502LX) to Frontier Airlines (FRO) Holding subsidiary Lynx Aviation.
September 2007: Frontier Airlines (FRO) Holdings said its Lynx Aviation regional subsidiary will not receive USA (FAA) certification in time to fly by the originally scheduled launch date of October 1. The company assured (FRO) customers flying to Lynx destinations, that they would not be affected by the delay. It also said it expects pre-operating expenses, attributable to Lynx, will total around $8 million in the 3rd fiscal quarter ending December 31.
(FRO) Holdings named D Dale Browning Chairman. He has served on the board since 1996, and will replace the retiring Sam Addoms.
October 2007: Frontier Airlines (FRO) s relying on regional partners to bridge the gap until its new "Lynx Aviation" subsidiary receives (FAA) certification. Some of the flying scheduled for Lynx currently is being operated under contracts with Horizon Air, ExpressJet Airlines and Republic Airways. The company does not know when it will receive (FAA) approval, a (FRO) spokesperson said. Initially, Lynx was scheduled to begin flying October 1 with 2 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s. It eventually will operate 10 of the turboprops. Tickets were booked and routes scheduled, but Lynx was never certificated. (FRO) juggled schedules and consolidated some flying, but still needs the extra capacity afforded by the partners. Republic is operating E170s under a long-term contract, while ExpressJet is working under a more flexible arrangement. The partnership with Horizon is being phased out, most likely by year end.
4 DHC-8-402s (4070, N503LX; 4172, N504LX; 4174, N505LX; 4176, N506LX), deliveries for Lynx Aviation operations.
November 2007: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will build a new heavy maintenance, Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) base at Colorado Springs, and plans to launch the $25 million construction project in late spring 2008. When completed in 12 to 18 months, the facility will employ around 225 and feature approximately 30,000 sq ft of hangar space, 45,000 sq ft of offices and support shops, and 25,000 sq ft of warehouse and tool room space. (FRO), which currently leases space at Denver International (DEN), said it spent more than a year researching the site, and that Colorado Springs "has proven that they understand the sensitivities, our employees have with relocating, and they recognized early on, that any offer they made, would have to be very financially compelling for us to consider it," according to President & (CEO) Sean Menke. (FRO) will launch (DEN) - Colorado Springs (COS) service by the time construction begins.
(FRO) launched daily Denver - West Palm Beach service aboard an A319.
Regional subsidiary, Lynx Aviation is interviewing and hiring Second in Command (SIC)s and Pilot in Command (PIC)s flight crew (FC) to fill a December class.
A Coalition of Smaller Airlines, a group representing midsize USA carriers including Virgin America (VUS), AirTran Airways (CQT), Spirit Airlines (SPR), and (FRO), is lobbying the USA Dept of Transportation to ensure that any new traffic management rules at New York (JFK) do not unduly favor major international airlines. "We've got to find a solution that doesn't shut out smaller airlines, which in many cases are offering premium service at lower fares," (VUS) Vice Chairman Samuel Skinner said. Spirit (SPR) (CEO) Ben Baldanza added: "We feel confident that the Department will not allow carriers, that dominate an airport, to decide who can operate at that airport." The airlines fear that (JFK) slots will be tightly controlled and that new entrants will be forced to buy slots from larger carriers.
December 2007: Frontier Airlines (FRO) launched 4x-weekly, Denver - San Jose, Costa Rica, service aboard an A319. A 5x-weekly flight will be added January 5. San Jose is Frontier (FRO)'s 10th foreign destination (it already served 7 in Mexico and 2 in Canada).
(FRO) is interviewing and hiring Second in Command (SIC)s Flight Crew (FC). Applicants can email their resumes to email@example.com.
(FRO) is cutting its workforce by -10%, or an estimated -100 positions, and will determine if its fleet needs to be "right-sized" in light of escalating operating costs and fuel prices. In addition, the company was set to begin operating its new regional subsidiary "Lynx" after receiving final approval from the USA Dept of Transportation (DOT). "They can start flying anytime," a (DOT) spokesperson said. "Due to the extreme cost environment we are faced with, we have elected to make several decisions to position the airline for long-term viability," (FRO) President & (CEO) Sean Menke said. "We are also evaluating our fleet size and future airplane deliveries, to ensure the fleet is 'right-sized' to endure this difficult cost environment." The layoffs, which will target the carrier's "indirect workforce," are expected to save some -$5 million annually. Menke pointed out that the rise in fuel costs prompted him to take action. "Even though we are 40% hedged in the December quarter with crude oil derivatives, our current estimate of the price of fuel for the December quarter of $2.53 is a +17.7% increase year over year," he explained.
Later, (FRO) celebrated the "birth" of its new regional subsidiary, Lynx Aviation, after months of delays. The 1st flight took place December 7 from Denver to Billings aboard one of Lynx's 10 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s. "We can move into markets with less competition, and have more opportunity to feed connecting traffic through our hub, all with a very fuel efficient airplane, that burns -30% less fuel, than a comparably sized regional jet," (FRO) President & (CEO) Sean Menke said. "We believe Lynx will be a critical component as we focus on the long-term profitability of our company." The regional employs >250 staff and the high-speed turboprops will be used in smaller markets, that cannot be served by regional jets or mainline airplanes. In keeping with (FRO)'s tradition, Lynx airplanes will sport tails painted with wild animals, that include a lynx kitten, a wolf pup, and a mountain lion cub.
Lufthansa (DLH) Systems (LHS) and (FRO) signed an 8-year contract under which (FRO) will implement (LHS)'s Lido Operations Center flight planning optimization program.
2 Bombardier 402s (4181, N507LX; 4182, N508LX) for Lynx Aviation operations.
January 2008: 2007 statistics: 15.81 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic +18%; +16.8% capacity (ASK)s; +.8 load factor for 78.7% LF.
SEE ATTACHED COMPARISON CHART TO SELECTED OPERATORS:
(FRO) launched 5x-weekly, Denver - San Jose, Costa Rica, flights aboard an A319. It is (FRO)'s 10th foreign destination.
2 Bombardier 402 (4184, N509LX; 4186, N510LX), delivery for Lynx Aviation operations.
February 2008: The USA Department of Transportation released its final Air Travel Consumer Report for 2007 and said that, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the 20 USA carriers recording ontime performance reported a 73.4% ontime arrival rate, down -2 points from 2006. In addition, mishandled baggage reports increased +4.5% to 7.03 per 1,000 passengers, while consumer complaints soared +58.2%. In December, airlines reported a 64.3% ontime arrival rate, down from 70.8% in the year-ago month. Cancellations of scheduled domestic departures rose to 3.5% from 3% in December 2006.
Aloha Airlines (ALO) and Hawaiian Airlines (HWI) led the way in punctuality, followed by US Airways (AMW)/(USA) at 74.5%. American Eagle Airlines' 53.6% was the worst ontime rate and its 8.3% cancellation rate also was tops. (FRO), based in wintry Denver, managed to operate the highest proportion of its scheduled flights at 99%.
(FRO) Holdings announced that Executive VP & (CFO) Paul Tate will resign effective March 21.
A320-214 (3389, N901FR), delivery.
March 2008: Frontier Airlines (FRO) reached agreement to sell 2 of its 49 A319s and 2 of its 11 A318s to (VTB) Leasing, which in turn will lease them to St Petersburg-based, Rossiya Airlines (SDM). SkyWorks Leasing arranged the sale. The move is part of (FRO)'s effort to modernize its fleet in the face of high energy costs. President & (CEO) Sean Menke characterized its recent financial losses as "clearly not acceptable" and vowed to make necessary changes. "In January, we communicated a revised capacity growth plan, that was driven primarily by the unprecedented rise in the cost of fuel," Menke said. "Part of that plan was to move forward with the delivery of the larger, 162-seat A320 airplanes while selling 4 of our existing airplanes, resulting in revised year-over-year growth of approximately +3% to +5% in fiscal year 2009."
A320-214 (3431, N202FR), delivery.
April 2008: Frontier Airlines (FRO) Holdings Inc has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but plans to continue normal business operations throughout its organization. (FRO) said the move came after an unexpected attempt by its principal credit card processor to start withholding significant proceeds from the sale of (FRO) tickets, which threatened to hurt (FRO)'s liquidity. (FRO) (CEO) Sean Menke said (FRO) has been affected as other airlines have, by rising fuel costs and the credit crisis in financial markets.
Bankruptcy prohibits the processor, identified in press reports as Colorado-based, First Data Corporation, from increasing the holdback. The (FDC) reportedly told (FRO) that it would increase required collateral to $130 million from $54.5 million, while retaining half its credit card sales.
(FRO) said a USA Bankruptcy Court approved the "1st day motions" related to its Chapter 11 reorganization, allowing (FRO) to continue operating uninterrupted and to honor preexisting obligations. "Our reorganization is off to a smooth start and we look forward to taking important steps to further strengthen our company," President & (CEO) Sean Menke said.
(FRO) concluded its fiscal year on March 31. It reported a -1.5% drop in mainline yield to 10.83 cents, and a +4.9% increase in unit revenue to 8.7 cents, as load factor rose +4.9 points to 80.3% LF. It flies 62 mainline airplanes plus 10 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s operated by its new Lynx Aviation subsidiary.
(FRO) announced that it will terminate its code share agreement with Republic Airways and phase out the regional's 12 E170s by mid-June. "Unfortunately, with current economic conditions and other business changes, we have been forced to drastically rethink the use of regional airplanes in our mix," President & (CEO) Sean Menke said. Republic Airways said that "it reached agreement with (FRO)" with respect to termination of the accord and wished that carrier "success in their continuing efforts to combat persistently high oil prices." President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford noted that Republic intends to file a damage claim for approximately $260 million against (FRO), adding that "the ultimate amount of the claim will be determined" by the bankruptcy court. The flying generates some $6 million per month for Republic. In addition to the 12 airplanes currently operating, it has commitments for another 5 E170s scheduled to enter service with (FRO) later this year.
(FRO) also announced it will discontinue service to 6 cities and reallocate airplanes into markets "with more potential for long-term profitability." Service is being dropped to Missoula, Sioux City, Jacksonville, Little Rock, Memphis, and Tulsa.
(FRO) Holdings named Jim Young VP Distribution, Sales & Marketing, and Tom Bacon VP Planning & Revenue Management. Both are new to (FRO).
May 2008: Frontier Airlines (FRO), which declared bankruptcy last month, said members of the (FRO) Pilots Association and the Transport Workers Union, which represents its dispatchers, have ratified tentative agreements on temporary wage and benefit concessions. "This is a key step in helping us continue to negotiate the Chapter 11 process. I am pleased that our employees understand the challenges we face, and are willing to do their part to make sure we are successful," President & (CEO) Sean Menke said. Executive management agreed to take cuts of up to -20% in wages and benefits. The airline said it will re-examine the concessions in September.
(FRO) employees will have salaries reduced -1% to -10%, based on salary range, as (FRO) tries to manage its way through the Chapter 11 restructuring process. In addition to the pay cuts, (FRO) is suspending for now its match to employee 401k plans. In an internal memo, (CEO) Sean Menke told workers that the pay cuts are needed to reduce the overall cost structure and attract new financing. "As a point of necessity, we are going to have to reduce our labor and benefit expenses very quickly," he said. He told employees that there has been a "positive reception" from potential investors regarding (FRO)'s future. "In addition, the bankruptcy proceedings and the creditors' meetings have been very smooth and absent of controversy," he claimed. On May 1, pay cuts were announced for the officers of Frontier Airlines (FRO) Holdings.
(FRO) will begin charging $25 for a 2nd checked bag on June 10. It also will raise the fee for children traveling alone to $50 per segment from $40, and no longer will allow pets to travel in the passenger cabin. (FRO), which filed for bankruptcy last month, agreed to cuts in employee pay and benefits. It said other changes are in the works, such as the use of new flight planning software that tracks fuel burn, and more announcements will come throughout the summer. "We have taken numerous proactive steps to keep our fuel costs as low as possible, without impacting our customers," President & (CEO) Sean Menke said. "Unfortunately, we need to review our fee structures to help offset this incredible increase in fuel."
(FRO) is accepting Flight Crew (FC) resumes and conducted a class of 6 in April, and has a class of 4 in May. (FRO) expects to interview again in August/September to fill a November class.
2 A319-111s (1761; 1890), sold to (VTB) Leasing.
June 2008: Frontier Airlines (FRO) lost -$16.5 million in its 1st 3 weeks of bankruptcy to April 30, it reported in a filing to the USA Securities and Exchange Commission. Revenue of $69.1 million was offset by expenses of $81.4 million, resulting in an operating loss of -$12.3 million.
(FRO) is accepting Flight Crew (FC) resumes and conducted a class of 4 in May. (FRO) expects to interview again in August/September to fill a November class.
(FRO) also announced an agreement with First Data (FD) Corporation, the credit card processor whose decision to increase customer receipt holdback drove the Denver-based carrier into bankruptcy. Under the deal, (FD) was provided "with appropriate protection for continuing its processing work" with terms that (FRO) President & (CEO) Sean Menke called "fair and reasonable to both parties." The deal is subject to approval by the USA Bankruptcy Court.
(FRO) is bracing for another round of cuts, with plans to reduce capacity -17% from September to March 2009, the "Associated Press" reported. The carrier, which declared bankruptcy in April, will cut 7 more Airbus (EDS) narrow bodies from its fleet on top of the 4 A318s/A319s it agreed to sell in the spring. Prior to the sale of those airplanes, it operated a fleet of 60 A318s/A319s. Its regional subsidiary Lynx operates 10 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s. (CEO) Sean Menke said the cuts are in response to record fuel prices and the slow economy. (FRO) also plans a "proportional reduction" of its workforce, though no specifics were provided.
July 2008: Frontier Airlines (FRO) promoted Senior VP Finance Edward Christie III to Senior VP & (CFO). He joined (FRO) in 2002.
August 2008: Frontier Airlines (FRO) said a group of 3 unsecured creditors comprising Republic Airways Holdings, Credit Suisse Securities and (AQR) Capital has offered to invest up to $75 million, in an effort to shore up the bankrupt carrier's finances. (FRO) President & (CEO) Sean Menke described the debtor-in-possession financing offer as a "tremendous vote of confidence in our company and our business plan. After a careful examination of this offer against the offer Perseus provided last week, we believe this new agreement offers immediate access to greater liquidity under more favorable terms." If the bankruptcy court approves the financing, the lenders will provide an immediate $30 million for working capital, followed by another $45 million. Recently, (FRO) signed a letter of intent (LOI) to sell 6 A319s to (VTB) Leasing. The deal would generate $80 million in net proceeds.
September 2008: Frontier Airlines (FRO) reported a -$5.6 million net loss in August, but posted its 2nd consecutive monthly operating profit (+$3.3 million). Net result included a -$4.7 million loss on a sale-leaseback transaction, $1.8 million in professional fees, a -$500,000 mark-to-market noncash loss on fuel hedging contracts and a -$300,000 loss on early extinguishment of debt. It reported a +$500,000 gain on a reversal of severance accrual. Net income excluding those items was +$1.2 million. "We have implemented plans to generate more revenue and have been able to meet and exceed our cost targets for the summer months as we plan our emergence from bankruptcy," President & (CEO) Sean Menke said.
(FRO) is considering moving some of its maintenance operations outside the USA, Denver's "Rocky Mountain News" reported. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents Frontier (FRO) maintenance (MT) workers, said the bankrupt carrier sees outsourcing as a way to save money, but complained that the move could result in the loss of -150 jobs. The Teamsters said (FRO) management shared with the union a proposal to outsource heavy maintenance, which includes major repairs and checks. The carrier has been aggressively seeking ways to cut costs over the past several months. Recently, it secured a commitment for $30 million in loans, but must cut expenses and gain employee concessions in order to secure an additional $45 million in loans, the newspaper reported.
(FRO) will have 100 pilots (FC) on furlough status by the end of October. (FRO) is not accepting Flight Crew (FC) resumes.
(FRO), still in bankruptcy but armed with new financing, became the latest USA airline to impose a $15 fee for checking a 1st bag. The change takes effect for travel on or after November 1 and includes exceptions for elite frequent fliers and active military personnel. Elite members of AirTran (CQT)’s frequent flier program are exempt as well. (FRO) and (CQT) have a loose marketing partnership based largely on website referrals. (CQT) still doesn’t charge to check a 1st bag.
October 2008: Frontier Airlines (FRO) Holdings, which continues to operate (FRO) and Lynx Aviation under bankruptcy protection, reported a -$29.7 million net loss in the fiscal 2nd quarter ended September 30, and a -$5.8 million operating loss. In September, when it lost -$20.8 million, it reported $7.0 million in reorganization costs and $2.1 million in unrealized losses on fuel hedges. It recorded gains of +$9.9 million from the sale of 2 airplanes. "Despite the net loss, we are pleased with the results of our restructuring plan and continue to have success managing our liquidity," (CEO) Sean Menke said. "Our cash and short-term investments remained relatively stable in September, which is a direct result of our diligent cash management efforts, our continued successes with cost management and the realized proceeds from our airplane sales." (FRO) earned a +$17.3 million profit in the quarter ended September 30, 2007.
November 2008: Frontier Airlines (FRO) won USA Bankruptcy Court approval to cancel its labor agreement with mechanics (MT) and material specialists represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), the union announced. The (IBT) agreed to wage concessions, but would not consent to permanent outsourcing of heavy check maintenance to Aeroman (TAC). The court said (FRO) may outsource "only as a last resort, after it has exhausted all other options to perform the heavy check work at its Denver repair station," according to the (IBT). (FRO) announced the ratification of a new labor agreement with the Transport Workers Union, which "was negotiated to extend certain earlier agreed-upon wage and benefit concessions."
December 2008: Frontier Airlines (FRO) launched 2x-daily, seasonal Denver - Steamboat Springs service aboard a Lynx Aviation Bombardier Dash 8-Q400.
(FRO) launched a new fare structure last week called "AirFairs" featuring 3 fare levels. Classic Plus is fully refundable or changeable to a seat on a different flight the same day at no charge. It also features priority boarding, two checked bags, free In-Flight Entertainment (IFE), a snack and beverage and 150% mileage credit. Classic allows for advanced seat assignments, 2 checked bags, (IFE) and 125% mileage credit. Itinerary changes will cost $50 and same-day changes $75. Economy (Y) is the "basic ticket to ride," the carrier said, and will be the "guaranteed lowest fare."
2 A319-112s (1863; 1876), sold to (VTB) Leasing for Rossiya (SDM). A319-111 (2763), returned to (GECAS) (GEF).
January 2009: Lynx Aviation flight attendants (CA) voted to join the Association of Flight Attendants-(CWA), the union announced.
February 2009: Southwest Airline (SWA)'s rapid Denver buildup seems to be hurting United Airlines (UA) more than Frontier Airlines (FRO), which here has a loyal local customer base and a non-fuel cost base that was hammered down in bankruptcy. But the obvious question still looms: Will anyone provide (FRO) with exit financing before April 1st, the day its debtor-in-possession expires?
March 2009: Frontier Airlines Holdings announced a firm commitment for $40 million in post-petition debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from Republic Airways Holdings, subject to bankruptcy court approval. The new facility refinances an existing loan scheduled to mature in April and increases available financing, Frontier (FRO) President & (CEO) Sean Menke said.
Menke has had discussions with potential investors in recent weeks with the aim of finding financial backing for the carrier's emergence from bankruptcy later this year. He told the "Associated Press" earlier this month that (FRO) "could be out [of bankruptcy] mid- to late summer." The $40 million in post-petition debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from Republic Airways Holdings secured earlier this month extends to December 1. He said the (DIP) deadline, extended from April 1, is "validation" that (FRO) is moving in the right direction. It is scheduled to submit a plan of reorganization in bankruptcy court by June 4.
Menke has cited careful capacity management as a key to (FRO)'s relatively good results in late 2008 and early 2009.
April 2009: A318-111 (3038), WFU. A320-214 (1806, N203FR), delivery, ex-(D-ALTI).
June 2009: Republic Airways Holdings has offered to buy bankrupt Frontier Airlines Holdings for $108.8 million, which if approved, would allow Frontier (FRO) to exit bankruptcy and increase Republic's stable of carriers. "Adding (FRO) to the Republic portfolio of operating companies is an opportunity for both companies to build on recent successes and strengthen the Republic organization for the benefit of all stakeholders," Republic Chairman, President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford said. Its three wholly owned subsidiaries, Republic Airlines, Shuttle America and Chautauqua Airlines, operate under air service agreements with American Airlines (AAL), Continental Airlines (CAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Midwest Airlines (MWX), United Airlines (UAL), and US Airways (AMW)/(USA).
The (FRO) deal would diversify Republic's holdings and offer a hedge against further reductions in regional flying by its mainline partners. While regional partnerships have been strained as mainline carriers won concessions and reduced flying by regional partners, a number of regional carriers, including Republic, have maintained strong cash reserves. If the (FRO) acquisition is approved, it will mark the 2nd takeover by Republic this year. It issued an $8 million line of credit to struggling Hawaiian carrier Mokulele Airlines, which defaulted on the loan in March, allowing Republic to take control.
(FRO) filed its proposed plan of reorganization and a motion to approve the investment agreement with Republic, subject to higher and better proposals under a court-supervised auction. A hearing is scheduled for July 13. "This agreement represents a major milestone in our ongoing efforts to position (FRO) to emerge from bankruptcy as a competitive, sustainable airline," President & (CEO) Sean Menke said.
The proposed plan provides $28.8 million in cash for general unsecured creditors and for $40 million of sale proceeds to be applied as repayment of a debtor-in-possession loan held by Republic since March.
Later, Republic Airways Holdings continued its shopping spree by acquiring Midwest Airlines (MWX) in a deal announced the same day it said it would buy (FRO). The (MWX) transaction, subject to appropriate regulatory approvals, is expected to close within 4 to 6 weeks. Republic's offer for (FRO) is valued at $108.8 million. "The acquisition will enhance the strategic positioning of Republic Airways," Chairman, President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford said. "We will be exploring options to restore and enhance service to various cities as a critical piece of (MWX)'s historic, strong brand promise which was strained by the effects of record fuel costs in 2008 and the deep economic downturn in 2009."
FltOps.com, an assistance service for professional pilots (FC), recently released a report of what each major USA carrier pays its captains and first officers. For the 11 largest USA airlines, including freight carriers FedEx (FED) and (UPS), the average annual pay for a 1st-year 1st officer flying the smallest mainline airplane is about $36,000. But the range between the best and worst paying airlines is large, with (FED) paying $51,000 and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) just $22,000. Southwest Airlines (SWA) is the 2nd highest paying at the entry level ($50,000), while Continental Airlines (CAL) and United Airlines (UAL) are tied for 2nd last at $27,000. At the other end of the scale are long tenured captains flying the largest airplanes, who earn an average of $165,000 per year. Again, the cargo carriers are tops with (UPS) and (FED) paying $231,000 and $211,000, respectively. The best paying passenger airline is (SWA) ($181,000), quite remarkable considering its pilots (FC) only fly narrow body 737s. The worst is JetBlue (JBL) ($123,000). Flt.Ops.com notes that pilots (FC) can earn considerably more than their base pay through international overrides, overtime work, per diems and other items.
Recently released federal government employment figures for airline pilots (FC) and mechanics (MT) run counter to data compiled by private organizations and the personal stories of highly-trained pilots (FC) standing in unemployment lines. FltOps.com recently held a pilot (FC) recruiting conference in Dallas-Fort Worth in which only a handful of airlines were on hand to interview pilots (FC). Last year’s event drew 35 airlines, spelling out how drastic the drop in pilot (FC) hiring has been, as air carriers quit hiring and in many case furlough pilots (FC). FltOps.com says the 15 largest USA airlines it tracks hired 2,300 pilots (FC) in 2006 and 2,440 in 2007. But last year, only 1,300 pilots (FC) found jobs. Through the 1st 4 months of 2009, only 28 new pilots (FC) joined the 15 air carriers. FltOps.com’s figures jive with that of AIR Inc, the aviation career information service, that for two decades served as a reservoir of data on pilot (FC) hirings. But if anyone needed more evidence of the worsening condition of the airline industry, Air Inc in February this year, shuttered its operation as a result of the sorry state of the economy worldwide, which has produced a dearth of new commercial pilot (FC) jobs as legacy airlines shed capacity, implementing pilot (FC) furloughs and layoffs while also putting off new flight deck crew (FC) hiring.
By the end of 2008, as the recession deepened, it became clear that the future would be bleak for newly minted flight school graduates. Air Inc said airline pilot (FC) hiring totals for 2008 were <half of what they were the previous year, 6,479 compared to 13,157 in 2007.
However, the federal government says USA scheduled passenger airlines employed +2.3% more pilots (FC) and +5.9% more maintenance (MT) workers in 2008 than in 2007, while total industry jobs declined by -3.0%. According to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the 7 large network carriers employed +1.1% more pilots (FC) and +8.6% more maintenance (MT) workers in 2008 than in 2007. The 7 largest low-cost carriers (LCC)s employed +5.2% more pilots (FC) and -6.8% fewer maintenance (MT) workers from 2007 to 2008.
Delta Air Lines (DAL) had the largest increase in pilots (FC) of any network airline from 2007 to 2008, while Alaska Airlines (ASA) had the greatest percentage decrease in pilot (FC) employment of the network airlines. United Airlines (UAL) had the largest increase in maintenance workers of any network airline from 2007 to 2008, while Northwest Airlines (NWA) had the smallest increase.
All of the low-cost carriers (LCC)s except Frontier Airlines (FRO) added pilots (FC) from 2007 to 2008. Spirit Airlines (SPR) had the largest increase in pilot (FC) employment followed by Allegiant Airlines (WJE). (WJE) had the largest increase in maintenance (MT) workers of any low-cost airline from 2007 to 2008, while (SPR) had the largest reduction. The 7 network carriers employed 13.2 pilots per airplane in 2008, down from 13.5 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2007. The (LCC)s employed 11.2 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2008, down -1.8% from 11.4 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2007.
Alaska Airlines (ASA) had 12.0 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2008, down from 12.9 (FC) per airplane in 2007, the fewest of any network airline. Delta (DAL), with 14.9 per airplane, up from 14.3 per airplane in 2008, had the largest increase in the number of pilots (FC) per airplane from 2007 to 2008 and had the most pilots (FC) per airplane of any network carrier.
Allegiant (WJE) had 9.3 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2008, the fewest of any (LCC), compared to 9.6 pilots (FC) per airplane in 2007. Spirit (SPR), with 15.5 (FC) per airplane, up from 12.6 (FC) per airplane in 2007 had the most pilots (FC) per airplane in the (LCC)s group.
As regards airline mechanics (MT), the (BTS) said the passenger airlines had 8.9 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, up from 8.3 per airplane in 2007. The network airlines had 12.9 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, up from 12.3 (MT) per airplane in 2007. Spending by network airlines for outsourced maintenance increased from 42.5% of total maintenance spending in 2007 to 42.8% in 2008. The (LCC)s had 3.2 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, down from 3.7 (MT) per airplane in 2007. Spending by (LCC)s for outsourced maintenance increased from 52.1% of total maintenance spending in 2007 to 54.6% in 2007.
(NWA) had 0.8 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, the fewest of any network airline and unchanged from the 0.8 employees per airplane in 2007. (NWA)’s spending for outsourcing maintenance declined from 71.0% of total spending in 2007 to 65.9% in 2008. American Airlines (AAL) had 22.4 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, the most of any network airline. (AAL)’s spending for outsourcing was 23.6% of total maintenance spending in 2008, the lowest percentage spending share of the network carriers.
Virgin America (VUS) had 1.7 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008 the fewest of any (LCC). Of the (LCC)s, Spirit (SPR) spent the smallest portion of its maintenance expense on outsourcing at 22.6%. Southwest (SWA) had the highest percentage share for outsourcing at 61.3%. (FRO) had 3.9 maintenance (MT) workers per airplane in 2008, the most of any (LCC) but down from 7.7 (MT) employees per airplane in 2007. (FRO)’s spending for outsourcing increased from 20.5% of total maintenance spending in 2007 to 24.9% in 2008.
In the news, Alaska Airlines (ASA) and its mechanics (MT) union produced a tentative agreement on a two-year contract extension, through October 17, 2011. The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) represents 655 airline technicians (MT). (ASA) and the union announced that they expect the results of the ratification vote by late July. (AMFA) is the largest craft union representing airplane maintenance technicians (MT) and related employees and serves members at (ASA), Mesaba Airlines and (SWA).
But (SWA) pilots (FC) rejected a tentative 5-year contract that would have increased their salaries and retirement benefits. Work to reopen contract talks with (SWA) will begin immediately, said Carl Kuwitzky, President of the (SWA) Pilots’ Association. Almost 51% of pilots (FC) voted against the agreement, which was reached in January after >2 years of talks. In the interim, the existing contract remains in effect. >95% of pilots (FC) voted. "We are naturally disappointed and acknowledge it was a very close vote," said Chuck Magill VP Flight Operations for (SWA). "We reached a tentative agreement in good faith, and both sides put a lot of effort into getting to this point. We have an outstanding and highly productive group of Pilots (FC), and we appreciate their active involvement in the voting process. We welcome the opportunity for our negotiating teams to re-engage and work toward an agreement that best meets the needs of our company and our outstanding pilots (FC) during these challenging economic times."
Meanwhile, it is reported that the skies aren’t so friendly for Steffan Schmidt and Chris Campbell. They were recently found on a street in Seattle, at rush hour, holding signs more often used by panhandlers. “2 laid-off pilots (FC)” read Schmidt's sign. “Will Fly for Food” Campbell’s sign said. It’s a small industry, and there aren’t a lot of pilot (FC) gigs on Craigslist or Monster, said Campbell, who lost his job flying a corporate airplane. Schmidt was laid off from his job flying a corporate plane 3 months ago, and figured they would get some “exposure” by standing at a busy freeway ramp. “The normal way to find employment didn’t cut it,” he said. Schmidt said he wanted to get off unemployment, and not “waste any more tax dollars.” They're seeking pilot (FC) jobs, not handouts, but passersby offered them money and books, which they politely declined.
July 2009: Frontier Airlines (FRO) and Midwest Airlines (MWX), both set to be acquired by Republic Airways Holdings, announced a code share agreement covering multiple routes out of Denver and Milwaukee that will begin "by late summer."
Republic Airways Holdings moved a step closer to acquiring (FRO) after a bankruptcy court judge approved Republic's proposal to purchase (FRO) for $108.8 million.
(FRO) reportedly has solicited other bids. If other offers come in before August 10, the court will hold an auction. (FRO) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April 2008.
Republic operates as Republic Airlines, Chautauqua Airlines and Shuttle America. Under the Republic proposal, (FRO) and its regional subsidiary, Lynx Aviation, would maintain their current names and continue to operate as usual. It is not clear whether headquarters will be moved from Denver to Republic's headquarters in Indianapolis.
On the same day last month that Republic moved to acquire (FRO), it also made a bid to purchase financially troubled Midwest Airlines (MWX) for $31 million in cash and debt. Republic President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford will assume control of (MWX), which is expected to relocate its headquarters to Indianapolis.
Southwest Airlines (SWA) began flying out of (DEN) in January 2006, likely contributing to (FRO)'s reversal of fortune. It now serves 34 destinations nonstop from the airport, which is dominated by United Airlines (UAL), and has continued to add flights there even while cutting back elsewhere.
(FRO) confirmed the move, saying that its arrangement with Republic "provides for an auction period, during which (FRO) may seek higher or otherwise better competing bids." (FRO), its advisers and a committee representing unsecured creditors have been authorized by the court to conduct on auction on August 11. Republic did not issue a statement.
(SWA) Executive VP Corporate Services & Corporate Secretary, Ron Ricks and Executive VP Strategy & Planning, Bob Jordan said that if it acquires (FRO), the "goal is to integrate (FRO)'s operations into (SWA) over a reasonable period of time." That would include disposal of (FRO)'s A320 family fleet and transitioning to 737s. In a (Q&A) published on (SWA)'s website, Ricks said (FRO) would "operate as a wholly owned subsidiary, independently and separately from (SWA), for a period of time until (FRO) could be combined with (SWA)." He continued: "Over time, (FRO) employees would be hired into (SWA) as needed to support our fleet growth and expanded operations." Ricks said (SWA) is in good position to make the offer, which it has been considering for "some time." He said (SWA) has "the cash, access to capital and collateral that allows us to take advantage of this existing opportunity."
August 2009: Later, Southwest Airlines (SWA) said that its $170 million bid to acquire (FRO) was "deemed unacceptable" by a USA Bankruptcy Court after the two carriers' pilot (FC) unions were unable to reach an agreement on joint work rules and seniority, paving the way for Republic Airways Holdings to purchase (FRO). (SWA) and Republic both issued bids for bankrupt (FRO) that were considered in a court-monitored auction. Even though (SWA)'s offer was much higher than Republic's $108.8 million proposal, (SWA)'s bid included a clause requiring that the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA), representing its nearly 6,000 pilots (FC), and the Frontier Airlines Pilots Association (FAPA), representing 700 pilots (FC), reach an accord. But the two groups suspended negotiations after (FAPA) balked at (SWAPA)'s proposal to place the (FRO) pilots (FC) at the bottom of their seniority list. "(SWA) was not willing to remove the need for the two pilot (FC) unions to reach agreement," (SWA) said in a statement, adding that its "culture and relationships with its employees are too important to compromise."
Chairman, President & (CEO) Gary Kelly explained, "We said all along that we would only move forward on this deal if it proved to be the right decision for our employees and financially prudent for our company. We chose not to amend our bid to remove the labor requirement, a key reason our bid was not selected." He added that (SWA) remains "committed" to the Denver market.
The USA District Court reversed a bankruptcy court ruling that voided (FRO)'s collective bargaining agreement with some 325 mechanics (MT) represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Republic Airways Holdings confirmed that it had been declared the winner in the court-monitored auction for bankrupt (FRO) and plans to purchase (FRO) when it emerges from Chapter 11, likely in the fall.
Denver International (DIA) said it will ask the Denver City Council to approve construction of a photovoltaic solar electricity-generating system to power the airport's fuel-storage and distribution facility. "(DIA) has filed the ordinances necessary to obtain council approval to enter into an agreement with MP2 Capital and Oak Leaf Energy Partners to develop the $7 million, 1.6-megawatt solar project on approximately nine acres north of the airport's airfield," the airport said. "Once operational, the new solar system is expected to provide approximately 100% of the fuel farm's electricity consumption."
Dash 8-Q402 (4265, N511LX), delivery for Lynx Aviation operations.
September 2009: Frontier Airlines (FRO) said its bankruptcy reorganization plan was approved by an "overwhelming" majority of creditors and that the deadline for filing objections has passed. A confirmation hearing is scheduled for September 10. President & (CEO) Sean Menke said (FRO), acquired by Republic Airways Holdings, has "been able to completely restructure our business and reduce our costs to among the lowest in the industry." Its code share agreement with Midwest Airlines (MWX), also bought by Republic, went into effect.
(FRO) will raise the fee on the 1st checked bag to $20 from $15 and on the 2nd bag to $30 from $25 on tickets purchased and on travel from October 1. In conjunction, it is reducing the change fee on economy (Y) tickets to $100 from $150. It will allow passengers to confirm a seat on a different flight the same day for $100.
A318-111 (3092, N809FR), scrapped. A320-214 (2325, N204FR), (GEF) leased, ex-(N270AV).
October 2009: Frontier Airlines Holdings, parent of Frontier Airlines (FRO) and Lynx Aviation, officially emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and was acquired by Republic Airways Holdings as planned. (FRO) and Lynx will continue to operate under their names with, at least initially, no change in flight schedules, amenities offered or frequent-flyer programs. "This is the end of a long, difficult journey and the beginning of a new, exciting one," (FRO) President & (CEO) Sean Menke, who will retain his position, said. "We are also looking forward to building on our relationships and working with both Republic and Midwest Airlines (MWX) [acquired by Republic on July 31] to build a strong, sustainable, competitive airline."
Republic acquired (FRO) via a court-monitored auction process for $108.75 million. In addition to (FRO), it owns Midwest (MWX), Chautauqua Airlines, Mokulele Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America. "(FRO)'s successful exit from Chapter 11 closes a difficult chapter in its history and allows us to move forward together to capitalize on the many opportunities to make two excellent brands even stronger," Republic Chairman, President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford said.
Including (FRO), Republic now offers scheduled passenger service on approximately 1,800 daily flights to 126 cities. It has >11,000 employees and operates 294 airplanes.
Denver and the state of Colorado are offering an incentive package aimed at preventing nearly 25% of (FRO)'s workforce from being relocated, while new parent Republic Airways Holdings apparently does not plan for the carrier to have a (CEO).
Indianapolis-based Republic, which acquired (FRO) this month after winning an August bankruptcy court auction, has said (FRO) will maintain its brand and operate independently. However, this week it named (FRO) (CEO) Sean Menke to the post of Republic Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer. It did not name a new (FRO) (CEO) and declined to respond whether (FRO) would maintain an executive management team or be guided by Republic executives.
Republic President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford said that Menke would be "managing the entire brand business for Republic." Menke said he is "looking forward to working with the Republic leadership team to help diversify their revenue stream in order to better position all aspects of the business for continued success."
Republic also acquired Milwaukee-based, Midwest Airlines (MWX) this year and (MWX)'s pilots (FC) and flight attendants (CA) appear likely to lose their jobs next month. Republic is considering where to base hundreds of workers among Denver, Indianapolis and Milwaukee.
The "Denver Business Journal" reported that the city and state have offered a package of tax credits and financial incentives to locate jobs in Denver. The package reportedly would apply only if Republic increases the base of 4,000 (FRO) workers now in Denver. Government officials are concerned that 900 jobs could be relocated across maintenance, customer relations and headquarters staff but are hoping to induce Republic to keep those positions in Denver and add more. A city official told the "Journal" that Republic could "reduce their overall costs" by moving jobs to Denver.
Datalex reached agreement with Midwest Express (MWX) to provide its Travel Distribution Platform, which will allow customers to shop and reserve both (FRO) and (MWX) flights in support of code share agreements.
(FRO)'s new owner, Republic Airways Holdings plans to place 5 A319s in Milwaukee by November to optimize (FRO)'s network with (MWX), which Republic also recently acquired, Republic (CEO) Bryan Bedford says.
After emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this month as a Republic subsidiary, (FRO) will operate some of its narrow bodies on longer-haul, high-density, low-yield markets from Milwaukee. Bedford predicts profitability for (MWX) during the 2nd quarter of 2010, and explains at that time Republic will make a decision about placing more (FRO) airplanes in Milwaukee. (FRO)'s airplanes will be joined next month by a total of eight Embraer E190s operated in Milwaukee by fellow Republic subsidiary Republic Airlines on shorter-haul routes such as Omaha, Nebraska, and Boise, Idaho.
(FRO) and its new owner Republic have new Denver flights including Louisville (which Southwest (SWA) does not serve from Denver) and New Orleans (which (SWA) does) with each getting new A319 service next spring (in April and June, respectively). In the meantime, (FRO) is making another attempt at diversifying its overly Denver-centric network with new wintertime non stops from Oklahoma City to both Orlando and Tampa, using Republic’s E190s.
Wizz Air (WZZ) named Frontier Airlines (FRO) (COO) Chris Collins as its new (COO), effective next month.
(FRO) has 53 pilots (FC) on furlough plus company offered leave of absence. (FRO) may bring about 10 pilots (FC) back, but will replace with new furloughs. (FRO) is not accepting (FC) applications.
November 2009: Republic Airways Holdings felt the pinch of rapid expansion in the third quarter, reporting net income of +$3.3 million, a -80.8% drop from +$17 million earned in the year-ago period. Republic owns Republic Airways, Shuttle America, Chautauqua Airlines, Midwest Airlines (MWX), Frontier Airlines (FRO) and Lynx Aviation. (MWX), (FRO) and Lynx were acquired during the 3rd quarter. Revenue fell -6.7% to $359.6 million, while expenses were down -0.6% to $323 million. The operating loss of -$32 million was about level with the -$32.5 million deficit suffered last year.
Chairman, President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford said in September that he expected to see a drop in earnings over the next few quarters because of the acquisitions. "You will see our earning diminished as we go through all the integration issues. Our belief is that the integration will be completed by March 2010," he said.
During the 3rd quarter, flying was reduced when 22 airplanes that had been flying for Continental Airlines (CAL) under a fixed-fee agreement were removed from Republic's operation. Of those, 17 were returned to the lessor, 3 were subleased offshore and 2 are expected to be subleased in the 2010 1st quarter.
Republic's 9-month surplus of $19.5 million represented a -70.2% drop from $65.5 million in the year-ago period.
Republic Airway Holdings, wooed by some $27 million in tax credits offered by the state of Wisconsin, will pack up and move its heavy maintenance and some administrative jobs from Denver (DEN) to Milwaukee. The job transfers will include 220 from Frontier Airlines (FRO)'s (DEN) maintenance base and 120 positions from its Las Cruces, New Mexico call center. About 250 to 300 Republic flight crew (FC) members also will be based in Milwaukee. "We don't have an exact number or breakdown of what those new positions might be. This process will take into next year to complete," the spokesperson said.
Republic said the move from Denver will preserve >700 jobs in Milwaukee and eventually will add up to as many as +800. It also will help further operation consolidation following Republic's acquisition of (FRO) and Midwest Airlines (MWX). "Our expansion in Milwaukee sends an important message to our current and future frequent flyers and to the local and state communities about our dedication to remain Milwaukee (MKE)'s hometown airline," Republic President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford said. (MWX) will expand its schedule out of (MKE) with flights to Raleigh-Durham starting April 1 and to San Francisco on April 19.
When Republic's acquisition of (FRO) was finalized in October, Bedford said, "(FRO) has no place to go and we're not leaving (DEN). There is nothing that would cause (FRO) to capitulate." At the same time, he acknowledged that he was seeking concessions from (DEN), through either rent adjustments or tax breaks, to offset what he considered the high price of doing business in Colorado.
The "Denver Business Journal" reported last month that the city and state offered a package of tax credits and financial incentives to Republic but that they would apply only if it increased the base of 4,000 (FRO) workers. At that time, government officials expressed concern that 900 maintenance (MT), customer relations and headquarters positions could be relocated. (FRO) has a higher Denver market share now (25%) than when it entered bankruptcy.
December 2009: Republic Airways Holdings promoted Director Flight Operations Don Osmundson to VP Flight Operations; and Director Human Resources (HR) Kathy Woolridge to VP Human Resources (HR); and named Frontier Airlines (FRO) VP Planning & Strategy Daniel Shurz as VP Planning & Strategy; and Midwest Airlines (MWX) VP Planning & Revenue Management Greg Aretakis as VP Revenue Production for Republic's branded airline operations.
Republic Airways Holdings (CFO) Hal Cooper said the CSeries represents "a pretty interesting opportunity" as the company considers fleet renewal at its (FRO) subsidiary. Republic also in talking with Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC), he said at an investor conference, according to "Reuters," but "unlike (EDS) and unlike (TBS), we believe we can tap into some very attractive export financing through the [Export Development Canada] there," he said. (FRO) currently operates 38 A319s, 9 A318s and 4 A320s.
Republic said it will hire +300 full-time business operations employees in Indianapolis in the 1st half of next year, which will allow it to claim some $4 million in government incentives tied to job creation. The consolidation will affect around 140 jobs in Denver. Also, (FRO) and fellow Republic subsidiary Midwest airlines (MWX) expanded their code share relationship to cover all destinations except Kansas City, which will be added in the coming months, the (FRO)/(MWX) said, along with stopover flights and (FRO)'s international routes.
January 2010: Frontier Airlines (FRO) and (MWX), subsidiaries of Republic Air Holdings, announced an expansion of their code share deal, effective February 16. (FRO) will code share on Midwest (MWX) flights from Kansas City (MCI) to 8 destinations while Midwest (MWX) will place its code on (FRO)'s (MCI) - Denver service.
(FRO) will operate seasonal 4x-weekly, Denver - Fairbanks service May 14 to September 12 aboard an A319.
Republic Airways Holdings named (FRO) Director Supply Chain Drew Skaff as Republic Airways VP Supply Chain.
Republic Airways Holdings said that all of its executive management functions, including those of subsidiaries Frontier Airlines (FRO) and Midwest Airlines (MWX), will be consolidated at its Indianapolis headquarters and former (FRO) (CEO) Sean Menke will leave the company at the end of the current quarter. Menke already had relinquished his (FRO) (CEO) role and become Republic Executive VP & Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Now he has made the "personal decision" to leave altogether, Republic said.
When Republic acquired Denver-based (FRO) and Milwaukee-based (MWX) last year, it said the two would continue to be operated as independent brands. But while both have retained their branding, the carriers increasingly are becoming operationally integrated. Republic, for example, moved (FRO)'s heavy maintenance from Denver to Milwaukee.
Republic said it will commence "the next phase of the integration," which will include both airlines moving to a common reservations system and an integrated frequent-flyer program. It said the 3 A320s and 7 E190s it is acquiring in the 1st half of this year could be operated by both carriers.
February 2010: Republic Airways Holdings will dissolve its Lynx Aviation subsidiary by September, removing the former Frontier Airlines (FRO) subsidiary's Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s from operation and eliminating approximately -175 jobs. "After extensive analysis and months of efforts to grow the business, we concluded we could not efficiently operate a fleet of 11 Bombardier Dah 8-Q400 airplanes," Republic Executive VP & (COO) Wayne Heller said. "Converting to jet service allows us to better utilize our existing airplane resources and lower our cost of operating and maintaining multiple fleet types."
Republic acquired Lynx when it purchased (FRO) last fall. It will remove 3 Bombardier Dash 8-Q400s from service on April 6, another 3 on April 19 and said it will terminate leases on 7 CRJ-200s operated by Chautauqua Airlines, shifting all flying to Republic Airlines E170 and E190 airplanes. It did not account for the remaining 5 turboprops. 2 cities will lose service entirely, Fargo and Tulsa, which will see flying cease on April 5.
Republic said "most" of the 175 employees, whose jobs are eliminated, will have the opportunity to continue in a similar capacity at either Republic Airlines or (FRO).
(FRO) announced an expansion at Denver that will include 7 new routes beginning in the summer schedule. Service will start to Branson (4x-weekly on April 20 aboard an E190), Fort Myers (3x-weekly on April 20 aboard an E190, switching to an A318 on June 4), Grand Rapids (daily on May 14 aboard an E190), Green Bay (3x-weekly April 19 to October 22 aboard an E190), Long Beach (13x-weekly on May 14 aboard an E190), Madison (daily on May 3 aboard an E190), Newport News (4x-weekly on May 3 aboard an E190, switching to an A318 on June 4) and Santa Barbara (13x-weekly on June 4 aboard an E190).
A 3rd daily flight to New York LaGuardia will launch April 19 and 5th daily frequencies to Portland (Oregon), San Francisco and Seattle begin May 14. (FRO) expects to take delivery of 3 A320s and "additional E190s" this spring, VP Planning & Strategy Daniel Shurz said.
Republic Airways Holdings, fresh off reporting another profitable year with net income of +$39.7 million, Placed a firm order for 40 CSeries airplanes valued at $3.06 billion.
Bombardier touted the deal, which includes 40 options, as a "major" breakthrough, noting that Republic will be the North American launch customer for its narrow body offering set to enter service in 2013. Republic, parent of (FRO), Midwest Airlines (MWX), Republic Airlines, Chautauqua Airlines and Shuttle America, becomes just the 2nd airline operator to order the CSeries and only the 3rd customer overall; its order is the single largest firm commitment.
It will take the larger CS300 variant, with the 1st arriving in the second quarter of 2015, and will configure the airplane for 138 passengers in a single cabin. "We spent a lot of time looking at this technology," Republic Chairman & (CEO) Bryan Bedford told analysts and reporters. "This isn't a paper airplane. If it does the things they say it can do, and we have no reason to believe it won't, we're going to have some great [operating] flexibility." He added that it will "help us dramatically reduce our fuel consumption and impact on the environment."
The airplane will be powered by Pratt & Whitney (PRW)'s (PW1000G) geared turbofan, for which Republic placed a firm order for 86 (including 6 spares) along with an exclusive 15-year aftermarket support contract. (P&W) did not place a value on the order or maintenance agreement. "Having a major operator like Republic Airways select our technology expands the reach and scope of the PurePower engine program," President Commercial Engines & Global Services Todd Kallman said.
The launch customer for the CSeries is Lufthansa (DLH), which has placed a firm order for 30. Irish operating lessor, Lease Corporation International has booked a firm order for 20.
Republic's 2009 profit, its 33rd in 35 years of operating, was down -53.1% from $84.6 million earned in 2008. Revenue fell -19.3% to $1.64 billion, while expenses rose +11.9% to $1.37 billion, producing operating income of +$271.4 million, up +6.4% from operating income of +$255.1 million in 2008.
March 2010: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will operate Kansas City - Cancun service 2x-weekly, April 19 to May 2 and weekly, May 3 to August 28.
Republic Airways Holdings has changed course and will abandon either the Frontier Airlines (FRO) or Midwest Airlines (MWX) name next month and combine its new subsidiaries into 1 company, new VP Marketing & Branding, Ian Arthur told "American City Business Journals." "I think the name is very important. And certainly part of our decision is which customer base is more willing to migrate over to the other brand," Arthur said. "There's significant equity in both of them." Republic said it intended to keep both brands when it acquired the pair last year.
A320-214 (4253, N205FR), AerVenture leased.
April 2010: Republic Airways Holdings unveiled its decision to unite Midwest Airlines (MWX) and Frontier Airlines (FRO) under the "Frontier" brand, a process it said should be completed by October 2011.
Republic (CEO) Bryan Bedford said the decision was "an emotional one for everyone involved" that followed months of "exhaustive research." Both brands had strong loyalty but Frontier (FRO) had a stronger identity and brand preference, he explained.
"Midwest (MWX) isn't going away, Midwest (MWX) isn't being retired," Bedford said during a news conference webcast from Milwaukee. "(MWX) is going to be fused, merged into the new brand promise that you see here. We're doing what we told people we would do here and we're doing everything we can to continue to support the community." When Republic acquired Frontier (FRO) and Midwest (MWX) last year, it said the two would continue to be operated as independent brands.
Republic said plans for the "bigger and stronger" airline include launching 10 new destinations out of Denver (DEN) and 5 out of Milwaukee (MKE) and growing capacity (ASM)s by +7% this year, much more capacity growth than is expected by other USA carriers. During the next 12 to 18 months, the company will "work to integrate the customer experience and cultivate the attributes that will set FRO) apart in the industry," it said. (FRO)/(MWX) will move to a single website and single frequent-flyer program and will implement new product attributes.
Bedford assured customers that Midwest Airlines (MWX)'s "iconic" cookies will continue to be offered on flights and the trademark (FRO) tail-fin animals/birds also will remain. Republic purchased (MWX) in July 2009 and (FRO) in October 2009.
(FRO) will operate seasonal Denver service to Green Bay (daily aboard an E190), Louisville (daily), San Francisco (daily) April 19 to October 22 and to Branson (4x-weekly aboard an E190) April 20 to October 22. It also will operate seasonal daily, Milwaukee - San Diego flights April 19 to November 17. It said the new routes are part of a 17-market expansion taking place this spring and summer following its integration with Midwest Airlines (MWX).
Republic Airways Holdings promoted (FRO) Senior Director Customer Service, Jan Fogelberg to VP Customer Experience & Technology, and Republic Airways Director Information Technology (IT) Aaron Workman to VP Information Technology (IT).
(FRO) took delivery of a 162-seat A320-214 (4272, N206FR), the 1st of 3 scheduled to arrive this spring. The airplane features an orca on the tail. Its Airbus (EDS) fleet currently comprises 9 A318s, 38 A319s and 5 A320s.
May 2010: Frontier Airlines (FRO) launched Denver service to Madison, Wisconsin (6x-weekly aboard an E190, becoming daily June 10) and Newport News (4x-weekly), and launched daily, Port Columbus - Kansas Cityservice aboard an E190. (FRO) launched daily, Kansas City - New Orleans service aboard an E170. It will launch daily, Denver - (MSY) service June 11.
(FRO) and AirTran Airways (CQT) will end their frequent-flyer partnership July 16; it began in 2006.
A320-214 (4307, N207FR), AerVenture leased, delivery.
June 2010: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will operate weekly, Kansas City - Los Cabos service December 18 - April 16, and weekly, Denver - Ixtapa flights January 15 - March 26 aboard E190s.
July 2010: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will launch 6x-weekly, Kansas City - Austin service November 18 aboard E170s and service from Milwaukeeto Hartford (MKE) (12x-weekly on September 27 aboard ERJ-145s) and San Antonio (4x-weekly, November 19 aboard E190s). (FRO) will discontinue (MKE) - Atlanta service September 7 and will replace the E170s and E190s on (MKE) service to Boston, Washington National and New York LaGuardia with A319s. (MKE) - Philadelphia service will change from ERJ-145s to E170s. (FRO) will resume seasonal daily Denver - Steamboat Springs service December 16 to April 10 aboard an E190. (FRO) will operate seasonal weekly, St Louis - Puerto Vallarta service on December 16 - April 16 aboard an A319. (FRO) will operate seasonal weekly, Milwaukee - Tucson service January 8 - April 16 aboard E190s.
(FRO) unveiled adjustments to its fleet in order to "continue its strategy of operating the most cost-effective airplanes," timing the transaction so that it can "efficiently match…fleet size to capacity needs during the slower fall and winter travel season." (FRO) will remove 4 120-seat A318s and one 76-seat E170 from scheduled service in September, 3 of which have been sold to third parties. The remaining 2 will be returned to lessors. It will make room to accept delivery of 6 new 162-seat, A320s beginning in January 2011. The deliveries will continue through the 1st 2 quarters of the year. It also announced suspension of its Denver - Rapid City service, effective September 7. "The 6 new A320s arriving early next year will provide us with a net capacity increase and a reduction in unit costs, making us more competitive as we embark on the busy spring and summer travel season next year," (FRO) VP Strategy & Planning, Daniel Shurz said.
August 2010: Frontier Airlines (FRO) extended the lease agreement on its Denver-based "commercial headquarters" through May 31, 2020.
Indianapolis-based Republic this year moved all of the executive management positions at its branded service subsidiaries — Denver-centered Frontier (FRO) and Milwaukee-centered Midwest Airlines (MWX) — to Indianapolis. But Ian Arthur VP Marketing & Branding for Republic, says the lease extension in Denver “further cements our commitment” to that city.
(FRO) offers >150 daily departures from its Denver hub, with service to >70 destinations. The Denver-based commercial headquarters at Tower Road, which (FRO) has leased since 2001, will house >500 employees. It already includes workers from customer service, in-flight administration and training, marketing, revenue management, scheduling and planning, and (FRO) is moving its customer relations and reservations employees to the building this month.
While (FRO) is staying put at its Tower Road facility in Denver, it is making a move in Houston, where it will be switching its operations from George Bush Intercontinental Airport to William P Hobby Airport as of November 18. Operations at Hobby will begin with 3 daily nonstop flights to Denver (the same number it currently operates from Bush) with most of the service on A320-series airplanes; an Embraer E190 will be used for 1 of the 3 flights on Saturdays. (FRO) noted that Hobby is closer to Houston and has a newly refurbished E Terminal which has been undergoing a $250 million makeover since June 2006. (FRO) did not mention differences in airport costs, but Hobby is the Houston Airport System's self-described "medium sized, low-cost domestic airport." Bush is the city's largest airport and a global gateway.
(FRO) will launch 6x-weekly, Des Moines - Denver service October 24 aboard an E190. (FRO) will operate seasonal weekly flights aboard an A319 from Denver to Liberia in Costa Rica beginning February 13, 2011 and ending August 21, 2011.
Republic Airways has changed its mind about getting rid of all of the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 airplanes operated by 1 of its subsidiaries, deciding instead to retain 1 or more of the airplanes until at least April. But Lynx, the subsidiary currently operating those airplanes, still is slated to disappear this fall. Republic said in February that it would replace all 11 of the Lynx-operated Dash 8-Q400 turboprops with Republic-operated regional jets. Republic acquired Lynx, (FRO)’s regional subsidiary, when it bought (FRO) in October 2009. In making its decision in February, Republic said the replacement of
Dash 8-Q400s with its regional jets was necessary to make the service more ompetitive in contested markets and simplify Republic’s fleet. About half of the Dash 8-Q400s were removed from service in April, and the remaining units were supposed to be gone by the end of September.
Now that plan has changed. (FRO) disclosed this week that it will retain 3 of the Dash 8-Q400s to maintain service to Aspen and several other locations in Colorado, including Durango and Colorado Springs.
Republic Airways has subsequently explained why and what this means for Lynx and its employees. “In some of the previous, larger markets served by Lynx, such as Salt Lake City, there were distinctive book-away patterns indicating some passengers clearly preferred our competitors' jets over turboprops,” Republic says. “In the remaining markets still served by Lynx today, this factor is not applicable or not as prominent.” Under the revised plan, Republic plans to keep Dash 8-Q400s until at least April, but also to incorporate the Lynx operating certificate into that of its Republic Airlines subsidiary.
As soon as the certificate integration process is completed, Lynx Aviation will no longer exist, although the Dash 8-Q400s will continue to operate as part of Republic Airlines. Republic expects the integration to be complete by late October or November. As it has stated previously, Republic said the majority of Lynx employees will have the option of becoming Republic employees when the certificate integration process is finished.
September 2010: Aircell announced it has installed its Gogo In-flight Internet service on the 1,000th airplane to be equipped, a Delta Air Lines (DAL) DC-9. (DAL) currently has 527 out of a planned 549 Gogo installations complete, Aircell said. "This is a big milestone for our company and for consumers who want to stay connected at 30,000 feet," Aircell President & (CEO) Michael Small stated. "A few years ago Internet on a commercial flight was unheard of, and today it is commonplace." This month, Aircell equipped a total of 32 airplanes for Delta (DAL) (A320s, 757s, DC-9s), American Airlines (AAL) (737-800s) and Alaska Airlines (ASA) (737-700s). The service is currently available on approximately "one-third of all mainline domestic airplanes," it said, roughly translating to 3,800 daily flights, up from 2,100 last year.
"We have a couple hundred airplanes in the pipeline, about half of which we will install by end of year. We continue to look for additional opportunities with our existing airlines partners and new airline partners." The in-flight connectivity provider said it expects to begin installations on (FRO)'s airplanes "very soon."
(FRO) will launch E190 service from Omaha to San Diego (3x-weekly, January 16), and Los Angeles (3x-weekly, February 14) and will recommence seasonal Omaha service to Orlando (4x-weekly, January 15 - February 13) and St Petersburg/Clearwater (2x-weekly, January 16 - April 17). It said the E190 will feature in-flight Wi-Fi by the end of 2010.
(FRO) launched 12x-weekly, Hartford – Milwaukee service using ERJ-145s.
October 2010: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will launch E190 Kansas City – Ft Myers service December 18, increasing to 2x-weekly, February 8. (FRO) launched 6x-weekly, Denver - Des Moines E190 service, operating Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
November 2010: Republic Airways Holdings (RAH) reported 3rd-quarter net income of +$21.3 million, widened from a +$2.6 million net profit in the year-ago period, and also announced that it intends to offer 12 million shares of its common stock in an underwritten public offering.
Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank Securities are serving as joint book runners for the offering, which includes a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15% of shares sold. The Indianapolis-based airline holding company "intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes, including to finance a portion of our new Embraer E190 airplane order, and to bolster our liquidity position." (RAH)'s 3rd-quarter revenue soared 97.9% (YOY) to $711.9 million, owing mostly to it growing significantly through the acquisitions during last year's 3rd quarter of (FRO) and Midwest Airlines (MWX), which are now both branded as (FRO).
Expenses similarly rose +98.7% to $638.8 million, and operating income was +$73 million, nearly double a +$36.6 million operating profit last year. (FRO), comprising both Frontier and Midwest, earned a +$19.4 million pre-tax profit in the period, according to (RAH). (FRO)'s revenue totaled $445.8 million and its (RASM) was 11.15 cents.
Quarterly fixed-fee system traffic, which includes subsidiaries Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, decreased -9% year-over-year to 2.29 billion (RPK)s on an -8.8% cut in capacity to 2.96 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 77.3% LF, down -0.1 point. Fixed-fee (CASM) was flat at 8.08 cents, while (CASM) ex-fuel lowered -1.2% to 7.52 cents.
Branded flying, which includes Hawaii's Mokulele Airlines as well as Frontier/Midwest (FRO), operated 3.49 billion (RPK)s in the 3rd quarter, while (ASK)s were 4 billion, producing a load factor of 87.4% LF. Owing to the mergers and the former (FRO) operating on a different fiscal year reporting schedule, year-over-year comparisons are not meaningful. Third-quarter (RASM) was 11.15 cents and (CASM) was 10.6 cents. (CASM) ex-fuel was 7.17 cents.
(FRO) in January will take delivery of the 1st of 7 162-seat A320s it has on order, and plans to receive all 7 by the end of the 2011 2nd quarter. It also plans to lease 3 A319s that will be delivered between February and April 2011.
(FRO) will launch 3x-daily, Denver - Houston Hobby service on November 18 using an A319, moved from its original destination, Houston Intercontinental airport. (FRO) launched 6x-weekly, Milwaukee - St Petersburg Clearwater service, with an A319, replacing the service it previously operated to Tampa. It will also operate 2x-weekly, Omaha - St Petersburg Clearwater service January 16 through April 17 aboard an E190. (FRO) launched daily, Austin - Kansas City service and 4x-weekly aboard an E190 Milwaukee - San Antonio aboard an E170.
Republic Airways Holdings and Embraer have finalized a deal for Republic’s purchase of up to 24 99-seat E190 jets, with the option to convert some of those orders to larger 116-seat E195s for use by Republic’s Frontier Airlines (FRO) subsidiary. The deal, which also includes 24 options, follows a previously signed letter of intent (LOI) signed by Embraer and Republic at the Farnborough Air Show in July. Embraer said 6 of the 24 jets are firm orders, and the other should be confirmed on or before April 15, 2011. In signing the (LOI) earlier this year, Republic said the airplanes would be used to replace smaller regional jets for service out of Denver, Milwaukee and Kansas City.
December 2010: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will operate seasonal 4x-weekly, Denver - Fairbanks service on May 13. (FRO) will operate daily, Denver - Steamboat Springs service through April 10.
January 2011: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will increase Milwaukee service to Boston (18x-weekly) and New York La Guardia (19x-weekly) to 25x-weekly, May 13 and April 4, respectively. It will also extend daily seasonal Milwaukee - Ft Lauderdale service until May 12, from its originally scheduled end date of April 17.
February 2011: Republic Airways Holdings (RAH), parent of Frontier Airlines (FRO), Lynx Aviation, Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, flew 1.49 billion (RPM)s traffic in January, down -1% from January 2010. Capacity fell -5% to 2.11 billion (ASM)s and load factor rose +3 points to 71% LF.
(RAH) posted a 2010 net loss of -$13.8 million, reversed from a +$39.7 million profit in 2009.
Chairman, President & (CEO) Bryan Bedford told industry analysts and media that, "Without a doubt, 2010 was a year of transformation for Republic Airways, and the entire Republic family." He noted that weather over the past few months has made for a difficult operating environment. Comparisons between 2010 and 2009 are skewed owing to the fact that (RAH) acquired (FRO) and d Midwest Airlines (MWX) (now part of (FRO)) in the 2nd half of 2009. Bedford said in late 2009 he expected to see earnings in 2010 "diminished as we go through all the integration issues."
The new assets drove a +61.6% surge in annual revenue to $2.65 billion as well as a +83.9% leap in expenses to $2.52 billion, producing operating income of +$133.4 million, down -50.9% from an operating profit of +$271.4 million in 2009. 4th-quarter net loss was -$1.29 million, reversed from +$20 million profit in the 2009 period, on a +2% rise in revenue to $649.8 million (2009 4th-quarter (RAH) figures do include (FRO)/(MWX).
(RAH)'s fixed-fee traffic decreased -10.3% to 8.57 billion (RPM)s in 2010 on a -12% cut in capacity to 11.35 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 75.5% LF, up +1.4 points.
Branded traffic in 2010 totaled 12.57 billion (RPM)s, up +247.7% from 4.2 billion (RPM)s in 2009, owing to the full year impact of (FRO)/(MWX) traffic in 2010. (ASM)s totaled 15.2 billion, up +260% over 4.22 billion in 2009 for the same reason. Load factor in 2010 was 82.7% LF, up +3.5 points.
Looking forward, Bedford said "Despite the run-up in fuel costs, I remain very encouraged by our business plans for (FRO) in 2011. We have flexibility built into our 2011 fleet plan should oil [prices] stay high at these levels."
(FRO) will launch 13x-weekly, EMB-135 service from Milwaukee to Ironwood, Michigan, Manistee, Michigan, and Rhinelander, Wisconsin on April 18. (FRO) parent, Republic Airways plans to remove 8 Embraer regional jets from its (FRO) unit and begin flying them under the Delta Connection brand. When the shift is completed in September, Republic will fly 48 airplanes under contract with (DAL).
(FRO) is not currently hiring pilots (FC).
March 2011: Frontier Airlines (FRO) plans to cut under-performing flights from its schedule as it struggles to cope with soaring oil prices. "We're making some frequency adjustments on days of weaker demand, particularly Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, along with downsizing some airplanes," said a spokesman for parent company Republic Airways. Meanwhile, (FRO) said February traffic rose +2% (RPM), while occupancy increased +4 points to 77% LF.
(FRO) announced it will launch service from Denver to Knoxville (A319, 4x-weekly, on June 6); Provo, Utah (Embraer E190, daily, on June 20); and Sioux Falls, South Dakota (E190, daily, on July 4). It will also add seasonal service from Kansas City to Minneapolis/St Paul (E170/E190, 13x-weekly, on June 6) and San Antonio (E190, 5x-weekly, on June 7).
May 2011: Republic Airways Holdings reduced its loss for the first quarter ended March 31, but its branded flying under the Frontier Airlines (FRO) banner continued to be a drag on earnings as the parent of Republic, Chautauqua, Shuttle America, Frontier (FRO) and Lynx posted a loss of -$22.4 million, improved from a deficit of -$36.5 million in the year-ago period.
"While the results of our first quarter are disappointing, it is certainly not from a lack of effort from our employees," Chairman & CEO, Bryan Bedford said during a conference call with analysts available via webcast, citing "soaring fuel costs," and severe winter weather for the result.
Total operating revenues rose +8.3% to $659.1 million, while operating expenses, paced by a +25.5% rise in fuel costs, rose +4.9% to $659.7 million, resulting in an operating loss of -$0.6 million, narrowed dramatically from last year's operating loss of -$20 million.
Fixed-fee flying under capacity purchase agreements with major airlines produced revenue of $236.7 million, virtually unchanged from the year-ago period. It generated pre-tax income of +$17.6 million, up +23% over 2010. Excluding special items, current period pre-tax income rose +7.1% to +$19.6 million.
Republic's challenges continue to center on Frontier (FRO). Although revenues rose +12.2% to $395.4 million, branded flying had a pre-tax loss of -$55.2 million, reduced from -$70.4 million last year. Excluding special items, the 2011 pre-tax loss was -$51.2 million, widened from -$42.3 million in 2010.
In April, Republic announced it would transfer six Embraer E170s from Frontier (FRO) to (CPA) flying with Delta Air Lines (DAL) in addition to eight E170s announced in January. All 14 will be flying for (DAL) as of October 1. (FRO)'s last three EMB-170s will be transferred to other (CPA) flying by year end. (FRO) will also accelerate the removal of the remaining four A318s in its fleet. They will be returned to lessors by the end of the third quarter. (FRO) is also adding to two seats to each of its A319s, from 136Y seats to 138Y seats. Capacity guidance will be flat for the year, reduced from the previously planned +4% to +5% increase.
Bedford said (FRO) needs to improve its performance by +$100 million. The fleet changes and corresponding capacity reductions "get us 20% towards our goal," he said. "Over the next few months, we are going to be engaging with all of our business partners, distribution, leasing, maintenance, Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO), and our employees to achieve meaningful expense savings to all facets of the operation," he said.
(FRO) will resume seasonal thrice-weekly, ERJ-145 Milwaukee - Branson (Missouri) service July 1 - December 14.
June 2011: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will launch seasonal, Branson service to Austin Bergstrom (3x-weekly; September 16 - December 14; using ERJ-145s) and Phoenix (weekly; September 17 - December 10; using A319s).
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) won a union representation vote by Republic Airways Holdings (RAH)'s pilots (FC), with 68% of those voting casting ballots in favor of (IBT) representation. Following certification by the USA National Mediation Board, (IBT) will represent pilots (FC) from (RAH) subsidiaries, Frontier Airlines (FRO), Chautauqua Airlines, Lynx Aviation, Republic Airways and Shuttle America. "These pilots (FC) have chosen to make a whole new beginning," Teamsters General President, Jim Hoffa said.
The pilots (FC) previously were represented by multiple unions. "The newly combined pilot (FC) group will come under one contract following contract amalgamation negotiations, which will be initiated by Teamsters at the appropriate time and after consultation and joint planning among the pilots (FC) of all (RAH) subsidiaries," (IBT) stated.
Frontier (FRO) pilots (FC) recently voted by a large margin to ratify a new labor contract that will give them an equity stake in the airline (FRO) in exchange for reductions in pay and benefits.
Frontier Airlines (FRO)'s parent, Republic Airways Holdings has tentatively signed to take 40 A319neos and 40 A320neos. All 80 airplanes are to be fitted with the (CFM) International (Leap) powerplant.
The company becomes the first to commit publicly to the A319neo (SEE ATTACHED - - "FRO-A319NEO-2011-06"), which is seen as a competitor to the Bombardier CSeries. Republic already has 40 CSeries airplanes on order.
Frontier Airlines (FRO) already operates 58 A318s, A319s and A320s.
July 2011: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will launch 3x-weekly, Denver - Rockford, Illinois A319 service on December 15.
August 2011: Frontier Airlines (FRO) is a major low-cost carrier (LCC) serving some 70 destinations throughout the USA, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
(IATA) Code: F9 - 422. (ICAO) Code: FFT (Callsign - FRONTIER FLIGHT).
Parent organization/shareholders: Republic Airways Holdings (100%).
Alliances: AirTran Airways (CQT); Great Lakes Aviation; & Midwest Airlines (MID).
Main Base: Denver International airport (DEN).
(FRO) will begin Denver service to Little Rock (6x-weekly) and Palm Springs (3x-weekly, seasonal) on November 17. (FRO) will launch Kansas City E190 service to Houston (10x-weekly) and Las Vegas (6x-times-weekly) on November 1.
(FRO) reached an agreement with Apple Vacations to begin to provide charter flights from the USA to international destinations on December 15, including Cancun, Mexico; Huatulco, Mexico; Liberia, Costa Rica; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, using A319 and A320 airplanes.
September 2011: Frontier Airlines (FRO) plans to cut -213 jobs at Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. (FRO) said to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development that the positions will be eliminated permanently in November.
Republic, which acquired Frontier (FRO) out of bankruptcy in 2009, has been struggling to return (FRO) to profitability. Shares of Republic have been in a free fall since it posted a -$15 million loss for its fiscal second quarter on August 2, mainly due to trouble experienced by Frontier (FRO).
The company’s stock recently opened at $2.91 a share, down nearly -50% in the past three months and nearly -70% off its 52-week high.
(FRO) said it plans to cut nearly a third of its 67 flights from Milwaukee in November in a move to end routes that are losing money.
"The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" said (FRO)'s service to six cities will be grounded: Green Bay & Madison, Wisconsin; Dayton & Cleveland, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; & Minneapolis.
The union for mechanics at Frontier Airlines (FRO) is going to court over plans to shift their work to from Denver to Milwaukee. Republic Airways Holdings wants to move (FRO)'s maintenance operation to Milwaukee, where work on Republic Airways other jets is already done.
But the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents (FRO) mechanics (MT), said in a court filing that their contract guarantees that they do that maintenance work. They said Republic is offering to transfer mechanics to Milwaukee, but they would no longer be in the union.
According to documents filed by the Teamsters, (FRO) mechanics (MT) who move to Milwaukee have been told they'll no longer be covered by the union.
Republic spokesman Carlo Bertolini said that Republic was aiming to have the new maintenance operation running in Milwaukee this month, but can't do it yet because only 35 (FRO) mechanics (MT) agreed to make the move. Republic needs about 125.
October 2011: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will operate 4x-weekly, Kansas City - Orlando Embraer E190 service January 5 - April 15, becoming 6x-weekly, February 23. It will discontinue Milwaukee - Pittsburgh service on January 4.
(FRO) completed the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), making it now (IOSA) registered.
(IOSA) sets aviation’s global standard for quality, safety and operations performance. The (IOSA) registry is official recognition that the carrier meets or exceeds industry standards, which are the strictest in the world. The audit includes eight areas: corporate organization & management; flight operations; operational control/flight dispatch; aircraft engineering & maintenance; cabin operations, aircraft ground handling, cargo operations, and operational safety.
“I can’t overstate the importance of attaining (IOSA) registration,” said Wayne Heller, Republic Airway’s (CEO). “Safety has always been our most important operating goal.”
November 2011: Frontier Airlines (FRO) launched Denver service to Little Rock (6x-weekly, November 17) and Palm Springs (4x-weekly, November 17 - May 14).
(FRO) will cut at least -220 jobs as it reduces flights, cuts the number of seats and the Indianapolis-based parent, Republic Airways Holdings looks to spin off or sell the airline.
Company officials said the reductions in (FRO)’s workforce, which totals about 5,000, may be accomplished through attrition or voluntary leaves rather than all of them as layoffs.
The reductions are expected to be at (FRO)’s primary hub airports in Denver and Milwaukee. (FRO) is cutting more than >-20 flights a day, roughly one-third, of its traffic at Milwaukee. (FRO) still has a handful of flights daily at Indianapolis International Airport.
January 2012: Republic Airways Holdings (RAH) has named airline executive David Siegel as (CEO), President & Interim (COO) of subsidiary, Frontier Airlines (FRO) to lead its restructuring program. Siegel is a former (CEO) of XOJET, Gate Group, US Airways (USA) and Avis Budget. Siegel served as lead independent director on the (RAH) board of directors and will give up that role, remaining on the board.
In May 2011, (RAH) announced its program to restructure Frontier (FRO) to reduce costs, improve profitability and ensure the viability of (FRO). “Siegel’s appointment is another step toward the goal of making (FRO) a viable, strong and independent business,” (RAH) said.
(RAH) is increasing its guidance for year-over-year total revenue per (ASM) (TRASM) improvement from a previous range of 8% to 9% to a new range of 10% to 11%.
“Our record load factors on (FRO) in each month of the fourth quarter, coupled with strong unit revenue growth, led to revenue performance that outpaced not only our previous expectations, but most of the industry as well,” said (RAH) (CEO), Bryan Bedford. “The +2% improvement in revenue improves the operating margins by the same amount on our branded operations and also drives an increase in our year-end unrestricted cash balance,” Bedford said.
(RAH) is updating its guidance on year-end unrestricted cash from a previous range of $200 to $210 million to a new range of $215 to $220 million, according to a company statement.
Frontier Airlines (FRO) launched 3x-weekly, A319 service to Washington National (DCA) from Grand Rapids (January 4), and Madison, Wisconsin (January 5). (FRO) will launch 3x-weekly, Knoxville - Orlando A319 service on March 15.
(FRO) is not currently accepting Flight Crew (FC) online applications. See FltOps.com and FAPA.aero.
February 2012: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will operate 2x-weekly, Kansas City - Tampa E190 service February 15 - April 14.
March 2012: Special item charges impacted Republic Airways Holdings’ (RAH) 2011 fourth-quarter results and resulted in a -$123.5 million net loss compared with a -$1.3 million loss a year ago.
(RAH), the Indianapolis-based parent of Frontier Airlines (FRO), Lynx Aviation, Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, took charges totaling $224.2 million related to loss of value on its fleet of 42 regional airplanes in the 37 - 50 seat size and other fleet-related activities. Excluding the charges, net income would have been +$17 million compared to an ex-item net income of +$7.4 million a year ago.
Fourth-quarter operating revenue was up +7.4% to $697.8 million, while expenses rose +40.9% to $863.8 million, producing an operating loss of -$166 million.
For the full year, the company reported a net loss of -$151.8 million compared with a net loss of -$13.8 million a year ago.
Operating revenue for the full year was $2.86 billion, up +7.9%, while expenses rose +17.8% to $2.97 billion, producing an operating loss of -$105.6 million.
“We are very pleased with our fourth-quarter results, especially in light of significant fuel price headwinds on our branded operations,” (RAH) Chairman & (CEO), Bryan Bedford said. “Our restructuring efforts during 2011, coupled with strong unit revenue growth at Frontier (FRO), enabled us to produce significantly improved ex-item results this quarter, in spite of more than >$35 million of increased fuel costs.”
(RAH)’s fixed-fee traffic in 2011 decreased -6% to 8.06 billion (RPM)s on a -1.4% cut in capacity to 11.19 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 72% LF, down -3.5 points.
Branded Frontier (FRO) traffic in 2011 totaled 12.89 billion (RPM)s, up +2.6% on a -1.1% decrease in capacity to 15.04 billion (ASM)s. Load factor was 85.8% LF, up +3.1 points.
(FRO) is continuing to pull back capacity at its Milwaukee hub with six more routes to be cut next month. Once considered a key hub for the combined operations of Frontier (FRO) and Midwest Airlines (MWX) now unified under the (FRO) brand, Milwaukee’s importance eroded last year after (FRO) embarked on a network revamp as part of a USD120 million cost improvement program to restructure (FRO) to regain lost profitability.
Milwaukee has taken the brunt of the network changes resulting from the cost cutting. Daily departures offered by (FRO) from the airport will plummet to only 18 from mid-April of this year. This represents a -73% drop from the 67 departures from Milwaukee operated during the peak summer period of 2011 and a -44% drop compared to the 32 departures currently operated. (MWX) had an even bigger operation at Milwaukee before it was sold to (FRO) parent, Republic Airways Holdings in 2009.
Republic is now redoubling its efforts at (FRO)’s Denver hub. Currently 80% of (FRO)'s capacity is allocated to Denver with the remaining 20% split evenly between Milwaukee and Midwest’s other legacy hub of Kansas City. (FRO) expects 85% of its capacity to be centered in Denver for its upcoming summer schedule as capacity coming out of Milwaukee is redirected to Denver.
On 15 March, Knoxville, Tennesee (TYS) became the 7th nonstop destination offered by Frontier (FRO) from Orlando (MCO). The Denver-headquartered (FRO) serves the market with a 3x-weekly frequency using its 138-seat A319s. Competition on the route comes from AirTran (CQT), which provides 4x-weekly frequencies. Until now, (FRO) served Knoxville solely from its Denver base.
(FRO) will launch 3x-weekly, Orlando - Bloomington service on May 25. It will also increase seasonal 2x-weekly, Orlando - Madison, Wisconsin service from seasonal to year-round May 27, swapping the E190 airplane with an A319. (FRO) will increase 3x-weekly, Madison, Wisconsin - Washington Reagan service to daily on June 7.
Gogo said its air-to-ground in-flight connectivity system achieved a program milestone, the installation of its 1,500th commercial airplane. For the year to date, the company has installed Gogo on more than >140 airplanes.
"This is a big milestone for Gogo and it's obviously big for passengers who want to stay connected at 30,000 feet," said Michael Small, Gogo's President & (CEO). "Since 2008, we've worked to get Gogo up and running on nine of our airline partners, which represent approximately 87% of Internet-enabled North American commercial airplanes."
Gogo can now be found on nine major airlines including on all domestic AirTran (CQT), Virgin America (VUS) and nearly all Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Alaska Airlines (ASA_ flights. Gogo is also currently installed on more than >300 American Airlines (AAL) airplanes and on select US Airways (AMW)/(USA), Frontier Airlines (FRO), Air Canada (ACN) and United Airlines (UAL) flights.
SEE ATTACHED - - "FRO-2012-03 - DENVER AIRPORT DESIGNS."
April 2012: Republic Airways Holdings (RAH), parent of Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines (FRO), Republic Airlines and Shuttle America, posted a net loss of -$7.1 million in the first quarter 2012, narrowed from a -$22.4 million net loss in the year-ago period.
“The [first quarter] result was negatively impacted by expenses for airplanes, which were unassigned as well as pro-rate losses,” (CFO), Tim Dooley said. “The loss on these sub-optimally deployed airplanes was approximately $9 million in total, which was about an $8 million improvement from our prior year’s first quarter. The majority of 50-seat airplanes that were operating in pro rate service last year are now unassigned.”
First-quarter operating revenues rose +5.8% year-over-year to $697.6 million, while expenses increased +2.4% to $675.4 million, producing an operating profit of +$22.2 million, up from the prior period’s -$600,000 operating loss. Mainline passenger traffic decreased -8.6% to 2.30 billion (RPM)s on a -7.1% drop in capacity to 3.37 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 68.3% LF, down -1.1 points.
The company said it has engaged Seabury Advisors to assist in a comprehensive restructuring effort of Chautauqua Airlines, its loss-making subsidiary that operates 50-seat regional jets. “Every one of our Chautauqua small jet (CPA) contracts is actually loss making,” (RAH) Chairman & (CEO), Bryan Bedford said. “We’re targeting a +$40 million to +$60 million annual economic improvement by the start of 2013.”
Dooley said that 14 of the 17 E170 airplanes, which were flying in pro-rate service a year ago, have been reallocated to Delta (CPA) flying. “We continue to evaluate the use of the remaining 22 regional airplanes deployed on our Frontier (FRO) pro-rate operation and we do expect to remove two E190 airplanes by the end of the summer flying season. Those two airplanes will be returned to their lessors,” he said.
(FRO) will launch weekly, Denver - Punta Cana A319 service June 9 to August 4 and will increase seasonal weekly, Denver - Cabo San Lucas A319 service to 2X-weekly, May 23 - August 8.
In the week following the release of the iPad, Gogo Director Airline Operations, Tim Lemaster said the Wi-Fi provider identified over >10,000 separate usages of iPads being used on board airplanes. The tablets continue to outpace cell phones and laptops 10 to one on airplanes, he said.
“The traditional In-Flight Entertainment (IFE)s are going to be squeezed down to a more long-haul market,” Lemaster said. He pointed out that Wi-Fi-enabled short-haul flights that take advantage of passengers’ own personal electronic devices (PEDs) could help the industry avoid buying and installing seatback systems. However, on a 3-hour flight, Gogo has seen the average passenger pushing 61 megabytes by themselves — - a challenging amount of data to support on multiple (PED)s. “It is a big challenge in the industry,” of “how to push more through the pipe, because the pipe is limited,” he said.
American Airlines (AAL) provides passengers with Samsung tablets on select routes, Manager (IFE), Erik Miller said. “Customers love them,” but he cautioned “there are pros and cons” to eliminating the seatback system altogether.
“Airlines used to take a year to 18 months looking at new airplanes, looking at new systems,” Lemaster said. “Is the right decision today to go away from a traditional (IFE)? It probably makes sense on a short-haul flight (people are already bringing on their own personal devices). I would say in the next three to five years, we will see that decision more and more, move away from the traditional (IFE).
(FRO) has started laying of -446 of its staff based at Milwaukee General Mitchell International airport (MKE) as it concentrates on operations from its main base at Denver International airport (DEN). Most of the workers in Milwaukee had been transferred to Frontier (FRO) after its merger with Midwest Airlines (MWX) in 2009. In other news, (FRO) will again move its two daily Denver flights back from Houston William P Hobby airport (HOU) to Houston George Bush Intercontinental airport (IAH) from July 11 after a year and a half of operating into Hobby.
May 2012: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will reportedly give up its routes from its once fairly large hub operation at Milwaukee General Mitchell International airport (MKE) to Columbus Port Columbus International (CMH), Indianapolis International (IND), Nashville International (BNA), New York La Guardia (LGA) and Omaha Eppley (OMA) airports by the end of June. That would see (FRO) just serving Denver International (DEN), Orlando International (MCO), Rhinelander Oneida County (RHI) and Washington Ronald Reagan National (DCA) from Milwaukee, a hub that it has inherited as part of the merger with Midwest Airlines (MWX) three years ago. An additional -125 jobs will be cut in Milwaukee according to local news reports.
(FRO) launched Bloomington, Illinois Service to Denver (4x-weekly) and Orlando (3x-weekly, on May 25). (FRO) will operate 4x-weekly, Denver - Great Falls seasonal EMB-190 service through September 30.
(FRO) now flies from Colorado Springs to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle and Portland. (FRO) launched daily, Denver - Bellingham A319 service.
June 2012: Republic Airlines will start operating its first DHC-8-400s on behalf of United Express from July 31 onwards. It will initially operate from Denver International (DEN) to Aspen Sardy Pitkin County (ASE), Durango La Plata County (DRO) and Kansas City International (MCI) airports. Republic will then gradually take over the 28 DHC-8-400s operated by Colgan Air on behalf of United (UAL) and transfer its own four DHC-8-400s operated as Frontier Express to United (UAL).
July 2012: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will launch 4x-weekly, Denver - South Bend A319 service on October 11. (FRO) will extend seasonal 3x-weekly, Harrisburg - Denver A319 service through until October 27 and will launch 2x-weekly, Durango - Las Vegas A319 service on October 4. (FRO) shifted Houston operations from William P Hobby Airport to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) on July 11. It launched 13X-weekly, Denver - (IAH) EMB-190 service on July 11.
August 2012: Republic Airways Holdings Inc (RAH) reported second-quarter net income of +$20 million compared to a -$14.9 million loss in the year-ago period for business segments Republic Airlines (RW) and Frontier Airlines (FRO). The airline said the results were due to (FRO)’s strong performance.
“Frontier (FRO) produced solid year-over-year unit revenue growth and demonstrates the significant value that is being created in our Frontier (FRO) segment through the network changes and restructuring efforts we accomplished in 2011,” (RAH) Chairman & (CEO), Bryan Bedford said.
Revenue fell -1.6% to $728.1 million, while expenses lowered -8.9% to $662.9 million, producing an operating profit of +$65.2 million, up from a +$12.2 million operating profit in the prior-year quarter.
Traffic for (RW) decreased -11% to 2.57 billion (RPM)s on a -11.3% drop in capacity to 3.35 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 76.7% LF, up +0.2 points. (CASM) decreased -3.8% to 10.10 cents. (CASM) ex-fuel was 8.48 cents, up +3.8%.
Traffic for (FRO) was up +4.7% to 2.74 billion (RPM)s on a +2.7% rise in capacity to 3.04 billion (ASM)s, producing a load factor of 90.1% LF, up +1.7 points. (RASM) rose +8.3% to 12.18 cents. (CASM) dropped -5% to 11.68 cents. (CASM) ex-fuel was down -5.7% to 7.18 cents.
“Despite the significant progress achieved thus far to improve our consolidated business results, we still consumed $39 million of cash in the first six months of 2012; this is unsustainable over the long term,” said Bedford. “We must continue the ongoing effort to restructure our small regional jet operations so that we can return our company to sustainable long-term health and competitiveness.”
The (RAH) holding company owns Chautauqua Airlines, (FRO), (RW) and Shuttle America, flying a combined fleet of 278 airplanes. The company announced in May its (RW) subsidiary reached a tentative agreement to operate 32 Bombardier Q400 airplanes under the United Express brand.
(FRO) will launch daily, Denver - Phoenix A319 service on November 15. (FRO) will launch 2x-weekly, Orlando, Florida - Trenton, New Jersey airport (TTN) A319 service on November 16. It will be the only airline providing scheduled carrier service out of (TTN) located in New Jersey approximately half way between Philadelphia International (PHL) and Newark Liberty International (EWR) airports.
(FRO) will launch 3x-weekly, Denver - Fargo A319 service on November 16. (FRO) will launch Orlando A319 service to Columbia, Missouri (2x-weekly), and Shenandoah Valley, Virginia (3x-weekly) on November 20 and 4x-weekly, Denver - Minot, North Dakota Embraer E190 service on November 5.
September 2012: Frontier Airlines (FRO) has canceled the launch of Durango, Colorado - Las Vegas service originally slated to begin on October 4.
(FRO) will suspend service on five routes from its base from Denver in early January 2013. (FRO) confirms that it will stop operating its flights to Akron-Canton (Ohio), Louisville (Kentucky), Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), Provo (Utah) and Sacramento (California).
Of the five routes, Denver to Sacramento has the highest number of frequencies, with (FRO) operating on the route 16x-weekly. It flies 2x-daily to Akron-Canton, and operates daily to Louisville, Philadelphia and Provo.
(FRO) says that it is "consolidating our northeastern Ohio flights out of Cleveland", referring to the non-stop Denver to Cleveland route that it will launch from 9 January. (FRO) will operate four times weekly on that route.
(FRO) continued expanding its network out of Colorado Springs, Colorado airport (COS) on 18 September, launching its second Californian route from the airport after its service to Los Angeles. (FRO) now serves San Diego, California airport (SAN) with three flights a week, using its 138-seat A319 airplanes. In mid-November, frequencies will increase to four times weekly. (FRO) already serves San Diego 26 times a week from its main base in Denver. Daniel Shurz, (FRO)’s Senior VP Commercial, commented: “Colorado Springs in an important part of (FRO)’s network and we are pleased to provide southern Coloradans with their only nonstop access to sunny San Diego.”
Milwaukee is about to lose the last vestige of its former Midwest Airlines (MWX) hub.
Republic Airways has applied to the USA Department of Transportation to shift its Milwaukee to Washington National slots to Madison and Omaha. With the shift, Republic Airway's Frontier Airlines (FRO) subsidiary will only fly to Cancun, Denver, Orlando and Rhinelander (not sure how long that will last) from the former Midwest (MWX) stronghold.
Long gone are (MWX)'s former routes from Milwaukee to major business markets around the country, including Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Many of these routes are now served by AirTran Airways (CQT) and its parent, Southwest Airlines (SWA), and Delta Air Lines (DAL).
What a difference five years make.
AirTran Airways (CQT) began building up a hub at Milwaukee following its failed takeover of Midwest (MWX) in 2007. Now, combined with (SWA) who bought (CQT) in 2011, it is the largest carrier at the airport with 3.7 million enplaning passengers, or a 43% market share, during the year ending in 30 June, according to (DOT) data.
Frontier (FRO) had a 9% market share with just 797,000 enplaning passengers during the period, according to the (DOT). It began cutting flights and staff at Milwaukee in 2011.
A hub is not coming back. Despite AirTran (CQT) and (SWA)'s significant operation at Milwaukee, the carrier's have already begun shifting routes to smaller Midwestern cities, including Akron-Canton and Des Moines, to its large "hub" (though it does not refer to it as one) at Chicago's Midway airport, which is only about 140 km to the south. The moves suggest that Milwaukee will simply be a large originating and departing market at the combined carrier.
Michael Boyd, Chairman of the Boyd Group International, said that Milwaukee has lost its status as a connecting point in the USA and that he anticipates declining passenger enplanement numbers at the airport during the next five years.
Milwaukee's loss of its hubs is emblematic of the trends among USA airlines during the past decade. It joins a growing list of former rust belt and Midwest hubs, including Pittsburgh, St Louis and increasingly Cincinnati, that have devolved to simply points in the web of hub and spokes around the USA.
US Airways (AMW)/(USA) will start taking delivery later this fall of five additional ex-Republic Airlines ((IATA) Code: YX, based at Chicago O'Hare International (ORD)) E190s it had previously operated before the airplanes were transferred to Republic in 2009. The first two of the airplanes currently operated by Republic on behalf of Frontier Airlines (FRO) are going to be re-registered back to their original registrations of N961UW (0183, N961UW) and (0191, N963UW).
October 2012: Frontier Airlines (FRO) launched 4x-weekly, Denver - South Bend, Indiana service on October 11. The Indiana airport was previously only served by Delta (DAL), United (UAL) and Allegiant (WJE). The new 1,560 km service is operated 4x-weekly with 138Y-seat A319s.
Republic Airlines ((IATA) Code: YX, based at Chicago O'Hare International airport (ORD)) has agreed to a charter agreement that will see the regional carrier operate five of its E190s on behalf of casino operator, "Caesars" based at Las Vegas McCarran International (LAS) on charter services. Republic currently operates 16 E190s on behalf of sister carrier Frontier Airlines (FRO) with five of these airplanes to be returned to US Airways (AMW)/(USA), over the next couple of months.
November 2012: Frontier Airlines (FRO) inaugurated services on the route from Denver (DEN) to Minot (MOT), North Dakota, which are offered with four weekly frequencies from 5 November. Commenting on the launch, Minot Airport’s Managing Director, Andy Solsvig, said: “Having (FRO) announce they’re coming to Minot is a whole different animal and we’re excited about having an affordable airline enter this rapidly growing market.” In recent years, Minot has benefited from major investments in oil drilling, which increased its profile and, in June 2010, attracted first scheduled service to Denver from United Airlines (UAL). (UAL), which gradually developed the market, now offers 25x-weekly competing services on the route. For its part, Frontier (FRO) will operate its new route with E190s.
(FRO) began serving Fargo, North Dakota (FAR) on 9 November when (FRO) connected its Denver (DEN) home base with the North Dakota city. Flights are operated three times a week with 138Y-seat A319s, while United (UAL) that competes on the route, flies 24 times a week with 50-seat CRJ200s. “We are excited to bring back service to Fargo, one of Frontier (FRO)’s original destination markets,” said Daniel Shurz, Frontier’s Senior VP Commercial. (FRO) previously operated the route between 2008 and 2010.
(FRO) launched 2x-weekly Trenton, New Jersey (TTN) - Orlando (MCO) A319 service, increasing to 4X-weekly on February 1. It will suspend (MCO) - Allentown, Pennsylvania service on April 7. (FRO) started Denver to Phoenix-Mesa, Arizona, where it is the third airline after Allegiant (WJE) and Spirit Airlines (SPR). (FRO) started Denver - Greensboro, North Carolina (GSO) and Colorado Springs (COS) - Orlando which stands out with being 2,450 km long.
(FRO) launched services on two routes from Orlando, Florida (MCO) on 20 November, increasing the number of destinations it offers from the city to 15. Colombia, Missouri (COU), and Shenandoah Valley, Virginia (SHD) are now served with A319s, respectively, with two and three weekly frequencies. Meanwhile, good load factors on the inaugural flight to Shenandoah Valley, where (FRO) is the only low-cost carrier (LCC) and the first one to operate jet airplanes.
January 2013: Frontier Airlines (FRO) inaugurated flights from its Denver (DEN) hub to Cleveland (CLE) on January 9. The USA low-cost carrier (LCC) now operates four-weekly frequencies on the 1,900 km route between the capital of Colorado and the city in north-eastern Ohio and competes with United Airlines (UAL)’s existing 20 weekly departures. Ricky Smith, Cleveland Airport’s Director, said: “This new four-weekly service is a nice addition for north-east Ohio travelers going to the Rocky Mountain region and further west.”
(FRO) will launch Trenton service to Atlanta (4X-weekly, on April 8), Chicago Midway (6X-weekly, on April 8), Columbus (3X-weekly, on April 8), Detroit (4X-weekly, on April 9) and Raleigh (6X-weekly, on April 8) using A319s.
(FRO) is pulling out of the Dayton, Ohio market.
SEE ATTACHED FROM "AIRWAYS" MAGAZINE - - "FRO-2013-01 - UPDATE."
February 2013: Frontier Airlines (FRO) expanded it offering from Trenton, New Jersey (TTN), as it launched three new routes to Florida (Tampa (TPA; Fort Lauderdale (FLL); & Fort Myers (RSW)), as well as a further service to New Orleans, Louisiana (MSY). (FRO)’s first route from Trenton, which is conveniently located for both Philadelphia and the New York area, was launched in mid-November 2012, and further launches have already been announced, with Atlanta, Chicago-Midway, Columbus, Detroit, and Raleigh/Durham all scheduled for an April start.
(FRO) will increase 4X-weekly, Oakland - Honolulu service to daily, between June 15 to October 3.
In a new milestone assisted by the Airbus (EDS) ProSky company Quovadis, Frontier Airlines (FRO) has been cleared to use highly-efficient Required Navigation Performance – Authorization Required (RNP-AR 0.3) operations for public procedures in the United States.
These advanced (RNP-AR) methods (the approval for which was given by the USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)) allow airplanes to fly precisely along a predefined route using on-board navigation systems and the (GPS)-based global navigation satellite system. The containment area provided by (RNP) enables an optimized horizontal and vertical trajectory in demanding terrain, helps to reduce diversions resulting from poor weather conditions, lowers fuel burn and improves airport access in challenging terrain. Quovadis supported (FRO) in completing this authorization’s requirements, which included specific airplane qualification, updated flight operation documentation, specific crew and dispatcher training programs, navigation database validation and management, deployment of an (RNP-AR) monitoring program and others.
As a result of its “green light” from the (FAA), (FRO) will be able to fly (RNP) procedures that allow a turn after the final approach point, or a missed approach with (RNP) values of up to 0.3 nm. (FRO) will continue working with Quovadis to gain operational approval for (RNP-AR) below 0.3 Public Operations in the USA.
The Airbus (EDS) ProSky subsidiary (which includes the Metron Aviation, Quovadis and ATRiCs companies) is committed to working side-by-side with air navigation service providers, airplane operators and airport authorities to build a truly collaborative system with greater capacity, better performance and environmental sustainability for all stakeholders.
Frontier Airlines ((IATA) Code: F9, based at Denver International (DEN)) (FRO) will cut -700 customer service jobs across the United States and outsource ground handling at all outstations leaving Denver as the only airport where its own staff will handle its flights. (FRO) has said that it would work with its new service providers to try and offer some of its staff new positions at the outstations.
March 2013: Frontier Airlines (FRO) parent, Republic Airways Holdings (RAH) posted a 2012 net profit of +$34.9 million, reversed from a net loss of -$90.6 million in 2011.
Indianapolis-based, (RAH) owns Republic Airlines, Frontier Airlines (FRO), Chautauqua Airlines and Shuttle America. It said restructuring done at Frontier (FRO) in 2011 and restructuring ongoing at Chautauqua have helped the company return to profitability.
(RAH) revenue in 2012 lowered -1.9% year-over-year to $2.81 billion, while expenses decreased -12.5% to $2.6 billion, producing operating income of +$212 million, reversed from an operating deficit of -$105.6 million in 2011.
The Republic Airlines unit saw 2012 revenue drop -10.2% year-over-year to $1.38 billion, as traffic decreased -5.3% to 10.12 billion (RPM)s. Capacity lowered -7% to 13.43 billion (ASM)s and load factor rose +1.3 points to 75.3% LF.
Frontier (FRO)’s 2012 revenue heightened +7% to $1.42 billion as traffic lifted +3% to 10.58 billion (RPM)s and capacity increased +1.1% to 11.91 billion (ASM)s. Load factor rose +1.6 points to 88.8% LF.
(FRO) has experienced a vast upheaval during the last few years. Acquired by USA regional operator, Republic Airways Holdings in 2009, Republic decided more than a year ago to spin-off or sell Frontier (FRO).
Meanwhile, during its time as a subsidiary of Republic, (FRO) has successfully executed a cost cutting scheme and network overhaul that has largely produced favorable results. As it worked to achieve cost efficiency, Republic management declared its intent to transform (FRO) into an ultra low cost carrier to mimic the cost structure of other USA carriers in that genre, namely Allegiant (WJE) and Spirit (SPR).
But as (FRO) has worked to improve its fortunes, it has not developed a business model that falls strictly into a "no-frills" offering in the same vein as Spirit Airlines (SPR). Its network is a mix of flying from a hub in Denver and point-to-point operations largely from Orlando and its new focus city of Trenton, New Jersey. (FRO) lacks the scale to develop into a full-blown hybrid carrier like JetBlue (JBL), yet does not strictly adhere to a pure leisure focus.
(FRO) will operate seasonal 3x-weekly, Denver - Eugene, Oregon A319 service starting May 16 and will resume 3x-weekly, Denver - Fresno A319 service on May 17.
April 2013: Frontier Airlines (FRO) continues to expand its network from Trenton, New Jersey (TTN), and in addition to the four routes recently launched, it now also offers flights to Detroit (DTW). Commencing 9 April, (FRO) now serves the 700 km route with four-weekly frequencies using 138-seat A319 equipment and is the only operator in the market. (FRO) begins 3x-weekly, Denver - Harrisburg, - Knoxville A319 service.
May 2013: Republic Airways (parent of Chautauqua Airlines, Frontier Airlines (FRO), Republic Airlines and Shuttle America) reported first-quarter net income of +$0.3 million, reversed from a net loss of -$7.1 million in the year-ago quarter.
First-quarter revenue rose +8.9% to $635.6 million, while expenses decreased -10.3% to $605.5 million, producing an operating profit of +$30.1 million, up +35.6% from +$22.2 million year-over-year. The company said fuel costs for Republic decreased -$46.2 million to $13.6 million for the quarter.
Republic Airways Holdings Chairman & (CEO), Bryan Bedford said, “This is the first time in four years that we have produced positive earnings during the first quarter and our results reflect the continued improvement in the business.”
Frontier (FRO) traffic decreased -9.4% to 2.3 billion (RPM)s on a -12.6% decrease in capacity to 2.62 billion (ASM)s, pushing up load factor +3.1 points to 87.8% LF.
As of March 31, Republic operated 70 airplanes with 44 - 50 seats and 152 airplanes with 69 - 99 seats to support its fixed-fee commercial agreements. Under the pro-rate agreement with Frontier (FRO), Republic operated five 99-seat Embraer E190 airplanes.
On March 12, the USA Bankruptcy Court approved the capacity purchase agreement, as amended, with American Airlines (AAL) to operate 47 ERJ airplanes in fixed-fee operations. The first airplane is expected to be delivered in July and is scheduled to enter service for (AAL) on August 1. The company anticipates taking delivery of 18 new EMB-175 airplanes in 2013.
Passengers not booking tickets via (FRO)’s website will start being charged this summer for overhead bin carry-on bags. Additionally, for tickets booked on or after June 1 for travel on or after July 11, (FRO) will raise its fee for a first check-in bag from $20 to $25 for economy passengers who don’t pay the bag fee on its website. The second checked-bag fee will remain $20 for all passengers.
(FRO) also this summer will introduce a $1.99 charge for onboard coffee, tea, soda and juice for passengers in economy (Y) seats, though some frequent flyer program members will be exempted. The drink fees, which will be payable by credit or debit card, will start July 1. Coffee refills will be free and passengers will receive full cans of soda or juice with their purchase.
The date for rolling out the carry-on bag fee, which will range from $25 - $100, has not been specified. Passengers booking on (FRO)’s website will still be allowed a free carry-on bag, and all passengers will be allowed a carry-on personal item, such as a laptop computer bag, that can fit under a seat.
(FRO) said the moves are part of its effort to become an “ultra” low-cost carrier (LCC). It also cited passenger complaints about a lack of space in its overhead bins.
(FRO)’s evolving model in part resembles Spirit Airlines (SPR)’s pricing strategy. “(FRO) continues to make it easier for customers flying with (FRO) to pay only for the services they use, which allows us to continue lowering fares,” Senior VP Commercial, Daniel Shurz said.
(FRO) is also trying to direct customers to its website for transactions. (FRO) is a subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, which has said it wants to sell or spin-off (FRO).
(FRO) commenced thrice-weekly seasonal services on the route from Denver(DEN) to Greensboro, North Carolina (GSO) on May 1st. The service is carried out using 138-seat A319s. (FRO)’s Senior VP Commercial, Daniel Shurz, said: “We are excited to offer travellers in the Triad region, the only nonstop service from Greensboro to Denver. Now, customers can travel to Denver and easily connect to 16 other destinations.”
(FRO) launched 3x-weekly, Denver - Harrisburg, -Knoxville, A319 service. (FRO) began daily Denver - Cincinnati (A320), - Eugene, Oregon (3x-weekly, A319) and – Fresno/Yosemite, California (3x-weekly, A319) service.
June 2013: A320-214 (5651, N220FR), EX-(D-AUBZ), (ACG) leased.
July 2013: Frontier Airlines (FRO) began Wilmington/Philadelphia New Castle Airport A320 services to: Chicago Midway (3x-weekly), Denver (3x-weekly), Houston (3X-weekly), Orlando (2x-weekly), and Tampa (2x-weekly). Service to Fort Myers, Florida begins November 16. Frontier (FRO) also will begin seasonal, Denver - Montego Bay service, beginning on December 22.
August 2013: According to FAPA.aero, Frontier (FRO) is accepting flight crew (FC) applications for Denver (DEN) and Chicago O'Hare (ORD)/Midway (MDW) based First Officers (FC). Submit resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 2013: Republic Airways Holdings will sell its low-cost carrier (LCC) Frontier Airlines (FRO) to an affiliate of Indigo Partners (INZ) for $36 million in cash plus $109 million in debt, following months of speculation that Indigo (INZ) would be the buyer.
Under the all-cash transaction, Indigo (INZ)'s affiliate will acquire all the outstanding shares of Frontier (FRO). (INZ) will pay $36 million in cash for (FRO)'s equity and the balance will be debt retained by Frontier (FRO). Indigo (IGO), the former majority shareholder of Spirit Airlines (SPR), will invest additional funds in (FRO) after the deal closes.
Indigo Partners (ING) is led by former Spirit Airlines (SPR) Chairman, Bill Franke. Franke was chairman of (SPR) from 2006 through earlier this year, when he sold his shares in (SPR). He has indicated he will bring the ultra-(LCC) business model to Frontier (FRO). (FRO) has already moved in that direction.
Republic will assign to (FRO) its rights for its previously announced order for 80 A319/A320neo airplanes, as Republic had earlier indicated. In exchange, Republic will be reimbursed $32 million of pre-delivery deposits. “This transaction is a direct result of (FRO)’s successful restructuring, continued cost reduction efforts and laser focus on revenue generation,” said Republic Airways Chairman, President & (CEO), Bryan Bedford. “I am confident that (FRO) will enjoy future growth as Indigo (INZ) continues the process to position the airline as a leading ultra-low-cost carrier (LCC) in the United States."
Closing of the deal is dependent on agreements being reached with (FFO)'s flight attendants (CA) and pilots (FC) unions by no later than October 31, as well as other third-party commercial agreements. (FRO) expects the deal to close in December 2013 if all conditions are met.
Frontier (FRO)'s sale will conclude years of efforts by Republic to divest (FRO), which it acquired in 2009 for $109 million plus $1 billion in liabilities. Republic began a cost restructuring program at (FRO) in 2011, and rumors began swirling earlier this year that Republic had found a buyer in Indigo (INZ). (INZ) sold its 12.1 million shares in Spirit (SPR) in July.
Republic's Bedford says the carrier remains focused on its fixed-fee flying for USA mainline carriers. "Our airline partner brands, including American Eagle, Delta Connection, United Express and US Airways Express, have a bright future at Republic Airways," he added.
Barclays is serving as financial advisor for the deal, while Hughes Hubbard & Reed is legal advisor to Republic. Latham & Watkins is serving as Indigo (INZ)'s legal advisor.
The Association of Flight Attendants-(CWA) (AFA), which represents attendants (CA) at both Frontier (FRO) and Spirit (SPR), says it is important that flight attendants’ “contributions be recognised before any sale can be finalized.” “It is important that flight attendants (CA) first achieve fair value for the equity and profit-sharing section of our contract,” said (AFA)’s President at (FRO), Kathie Weis. “Frontier (FRO) flight attendants (CA) remain united and are resolute that any agreement must be for the good of the airline and be good for flight attendants (CA)."
Officials at Frontier Airlines (FRO) have approved (FRO) flight crews (FC) to use Apple iPads with the ForeFlight Mobile, flight planning and navigation app for pilots (FC) from ForeFlight in Houston, in all phases of flight as part of (FRO)’s electronic flight bag (EFB) program. ForeFlight Mobile provides (FRO) crews with instant access to critical flight information, including hazard and weather map overlays, electronic enroute charts, approach plates, and airport diagrams. (FAA) safety publications and documents are also available within the app.
“The iPad approval is a critical component in our efforts to reduce costs and our carbon footprint while improving reliability and safety,” affirms Scott Gould, Frontier’s VP Flight Operations. “We are very excited for the opportunity to offer our flight crews (FC)s this electronic flight bag (EFB) solution. The unique map overlay features of ForeFlight supports great in-flight decision making and helps ensure safe and smooth (FRO) flights every day.”
Frontier Airlines (FRO) is the first Part 121 carrier to announce approval for the use of ForeFlight Mobile under (FAA) OpSpec A061. At the same time, “ForeFlight is the first independent flight planning and electronic charting app developer to have received full approval for use on a Part 121 flight deck,” according to Tyson Weihs, ForeFlight’s co-Founder & (CEO).
“This is a significant milestone for ForeFlight and (FRO), who have ushered in a new era of choice, efficiency, and productivity for commercial operators and pilots (FC),” Weihs adds. “ForeFlight Mobile delights pilots (FC), makes them more productive before and during flights, helps them quickly assess weather conditions, and facilitates more collaboration with dispatch to ensure the safest and most economical routes are flown.”
For more information about gaining OpSpec approval for the Apple iPad as an (EFB), visit http://www.foreflight.com/approved.
November 2013: Frontier Airlines (FRO) adds 4x-weekly, Trenton -Mercer Airport - Charlotte A319 service beginning February 12, 2014. It also adds 3x-weekly, Trenton - Cincinnati A319 service. (FRO) also begins 4X-weekly, Denver - Memphis beginning March 7th, 2014.
December 2013: Indigo Partners (ING) completed the acquisition of Frontier Airlines (FRO) from Republic Airways Holdings. Final terms of the transaction, which was first announced October 1st, are not being disclosed. Indigo Partners (ING) is led by Managing Partner, Bill Franke. “One key element to Frontier (FRO)’s future success will be operating as an ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) that offers low fares. This model, coupled with the Frontier (FRO) touch, will ensure opportunities for the (FRO) team, and provide safe and reliable (ULCC) air service to our communities and beyond as we grow (FRO) under this vision,” Franke said.
Frontier (FRO) will remain headquartered in Denver.
Upon closing of the sale, (FRO) (CEO) & President, David Siegel resigned from Republic’s board of directors.
Republic Airways Chairman, President & (CEO), Bryan Bedford said, “Republic can now focus its full attention on its core regional jet business and continue to strengthen its relationships with its major airline partners.” Republic Airways Holdings, based in Indianapolis, owns Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines and Shuttle America.
Frontier Airlines (FRO) will begin 3x-weekly, Wilmington (ILG) - Detroit A320 service on April 29, 2014.
January 2014: Frontier Airlines (FRO) increased its seasonal offering from its Denver (DEN) hub on December 22nd with the launch of weekly flights (Sundays) to Montego Bay (MBJ). The 3,492 km sector to the second largest city in Jamaica will be served utilizing (FRO)’s 138-seat A319s. (FRO)’s second route to Montego Bay will face no direct competition from any other carrier. Commenting on the launch, Daniel Shurz, (FRO)’s Senior VP Commercial, said: ”With the launch of services to Montego Bay, Frontier (FRO) is the first and only carrier offering nonstop service from Denver to Jamaica. We’re confident that travellers will love our friendly, low fare service to this popular destination.”
March 2014: Frontier Airlines (FRO) expanded its presence in the USA domestic market with a new route from Denver (DEN) to Memphis (MEM) on March 7th. The 1,403 km sector will be served four times weekly, utilizing (FRO)’s 138-seat A319s, but will see a frequency increase to daily from June 14th. (FRO)’s new airport pair will face competition from United Airlines (UAL)’s daily operations and Delta Air Lines (DAL)’s six weekly flights.
For the second consecutive month, after 15 months of reported declines, full-time equivalent (FTE) employment at USA scheduled passenger airlines has registered a monthly increase year-over-year.
In January, USA scheduled passenger airlines employed 381,819 full-time workers, up +0.5% year-over-year, according to figures from the USA Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The January count indicates +1,777 more (FTE) jobs among USA scheduled passenger carriers than in January 2013.
Among the USA major/network carriers, year-over-year increases in January (FTE) jobs were seen at US Airways (AMW)/(USA) (up +4.1%), Alaska Airlines (ASA) (up +2.9%), American Airlines (AAL) (up +0.4%) and Delta Air Lines (DAL) (up +0.3%). Only United Airlines (UAL) reported (FTE) job losses in January, losing -1% of its (FTE) positions year-over-year. Overall, the USA major/network carriers saw a +0.4% year-over-year increase in January (FTE) positions.
Hawaiian Airlines (HWI), a major carrier classified by (BTS) as an “other carrier” (airlines that operate within specific niche markets) reported a year-over-year January increase of +381 (FTE) positions, up +8.7%.
For the major USA low-cost-carriers (LCCs), overall (FTE) positions grew +0.3% year-over-year in January. Spirit Airlines (SPR)’s (FTE) positions jumped +20.5% year-over-year, to 3,604 (FTE) employees; Allegiant Air (WJE) also continued its (FTE) job surge, up +15% from January 2013. Increases were also seen at Virgin America (VUS) (up +5.2%) and JetBlue Airways (JBL) (up +4.2%). January (FTE) job losses continued at Frontier Airlines (FRO) (down -11.7%) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) (down -1.9%).
Sun Country Airlines (SCA), a national carrier/(LCC) classified by (BTS) as an “other carrier,” reported a year-over-year January increase of +192 (FTE) positions, up +20.3%.
Ranked by (FTE) workforce, the top 10 passenger airlines for January were: (UAL) (81,368) (FTE) employees), (DAL) (73,372), (AAL) (59,686), (SWA) (44,983), (AMW)/(USA) (31,574), (JBL) (13,119), American Eagle (11,017), SkyWest (9,816), (ASA) (9,517), and ExpressJet (9,178).
April 2014: Frontier Airlines (FRO) has fully embraced the “ultra” low-cost carrier (ULCC) business model, unveiling a simplified fare structure and adding fees for most services.
Indigo Partners (ING), which is led by former Spirit Airlines (SPR) Chairman, Bill Franke, late last year completed the acquisition of Denver-based Frontier (FRO) from Republic Airways Holdings. Under Republic, (FRO) had started to slowly move in the direction of becoming a (ULCC) in the mold of Spirit (SPR) and Allegiant Air (WJE), but Indigo (INE) has given (FRO) the green light to become a full-fledged (ULCC). “As a result, the economy (Y) fare is now fully unbundled, enabling customers to choose and pay for only the products they want to truly customize their flight,” (FRO) said.
(FRO) noted its base fares have been lowered by an average of -12%. But passengers will now be charged $20 - $50 for each carry-on bag (depending on when the fee is paid) in addition to the minimum $20 charge for checked bags that was already in place. Passengers will also be charged a $5 - $15 fee for “stretch” seats with 5 - 7 inches of extra legroom.
However, (FRO) is also offering a bundled fare option that distinguishes it from Spirit (SPR) and Allegiant (WJE). Customers purchasing the “Classic Plus” fare will pay a higher base ticket price, but amenities such as “a fully refundable ticket, no change fees, extra leg room, one free-checked bag and one free carry-on bag” will be included, (FRO) stated.
Frontier (FRO) (CEO), David Siegel told "The Denver Post," “We started pursuing the (ULCC) model 2½ years ago, but we had an owner that didn’t really understand the model and didn’t want to make any investments. Now we have Indigo (INE) [and] they understand the model better than anyone else in the industry, and they are willing to make smart investments.” But, in an obvious reference to Spirit (SPR)’s high customer complaint rate, Siegel added that Indigo (INE) “is looking to evolve the model. They certainly would like (SPR)-like costs, (SPR)-like profitability and (SPR)-like financial returns, but they want a different customer experience.”
Frontier Airlines (FRO) has chosen AirVault Cloud-Computing Records Management System for Aircraft Maintenance and Business Operations.
May 2014: Frontier Airlines (FRO), which turned 20 this February, expanded its presence in the USA domestic market with five new routes launched from Trenton, New Jersey (TTN) and Wilmington, Delaware (ILG), all of which are operated thrice-weekly using its 138-seat A319s and 168-seat A320s. With the longest route being the 1,289 km sector to St Augustine, Florida (UST), and the shortest being inaugurated to Detroit, Michigan (DTW) at 710 km, (FRO) will face no competition on any of the five new airport pairs. Commenting on the launches from Wilmington, Stephen Williams, Airports Director, Delaware River and Bay Authority, said: “Wilmington Philadelphia Airport and Frontier Airlines (FRO) are fast becoming the best overall value for budget savvy passengers seeking alternatives for travel to and from the Delaware Valley. With the addition of Atlanta and Detroit to the flight schedule, (FRO) continues to offer even more options for our customers. We want to be the consumer’s choice for low fares, free parking, big planes, great destinations, and a hassle-free, convenient airport experience.”
Frontier Airlines (FRO) has added another spoke from its main hub at Denver, Colorado (DEN). On May 16th, it began thrice-weekly flights on the 1,360 km route to Bakersfield, California (BFL) using its A319s. The route is already served by United Airlines (UAL), who fly twice-daily using 50-seat CRJs operated by SkyWest Airlines. (FRO) becomes only the third scheduled carrier at the Californian airport (known locally as Meadows Field Airport) which is dominated by (UAL) with 53 weekly departures spread across four routes. In addition, US Airways (AMW)/(USA) operates 23 weekly flights to its Phoenix hub.
Frontier Airlines (FRO) is set to become the #2 biggest carrier at Washington Dulles Airport based on seat capacity; launching 14 routes between August and mid-September. On the new services, each served with between three and seven weekly flights, (FRO) faces competition from United (UAL) on 10 of them, with Delta Air Lines (DAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA) also providing head-to-head competition on some routes. By October, (FRO) will be the second largest airline (in terms of seat capacity) at the airport, and Dulles will become (FRO)’s second biggest base, although a long, long way behind its Denver operation.
(FRO) begins the new Washington Dulles services August 19 to: Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Minneapolis/St Paul and Tampa. Beginning September 8th: Chicago O’Hare, Cincinnati, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Memphis, Fort Myers, St Louis, and St Augustine/Jacksonville.
(FRO) will have 68 weekly departures by the end of September, using its 168-seat A320s, meaning that (FRO) will be offering over >11,000 weekly departing seats from the airport, or around 4% of the airport’s total, well behind United Airlines (UAL), which accounts for around 65% of seat capacity, but marginally more than what Delta (DAL) is currently offering.
Based on currently available schedule data, Dulles will become (FRO)’s second biggest base of operation (after Denver) with a similar number of movements to its new Trenton operation, but offering more seats through its use of larger A320s, rather than the A319s which are used at Trenton.
Frontier Airlines (FRO) appointed James Dempsey as (CFO). Dempsey brings more than >17 years of experience in aviation finance and most recently served as Treasurer for Ryanair (RYR).
June 2014: Frontier Airlines (FRO, which turned 20 in February, expanded its presence in the USA domestic market with the addition of 18 new routes, all of which are operated by its 138-seat A319s and 168-seat A320s. Notably, the average weekly frequency across the 18 new airport pairs is slightly over 3.4. With the longest sector being the 3,252 km sector from Cleveland, Ohio (CLE) to Seattle-Tacoma (SEA), and the shortest being inaugurated from Cleveland (CLE) to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (RDU) at 669 km, the 10th largest USA carrier will face competition on 11 of the newly launched routes.
Frontier Airlines (FRO) begins 2x-weekly, Saint Louis - Fort Myers Airbus A319 service on October 3.
July 2014: Frontier Airlines (FRO) named Howard Diamond to the role of Senior VP, General Counsel & Secretary. Howard held a similar position with Thales (THL) USA and BAE Systems and brings with him a wealth of legal and industry experience.
August 2014: Frontier Airlines (FRO), which turned 20 in February, commenced its second route to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) with four weekly flights from Cleveland (CLE) on August 15th. The 1,643 km airport pair will face competition from American Airlines (AAL) (27 times weekly) and United Airlines (UAL) (11 times weekly) and will be operated using (FRO)’s 168-seat A320s. Frontier (FRO) is also flying to Dallas/Fort Worth with 37 weekly operations from Denver.
(FRO) begins 10 new services: Denver - Palm Beach, 4x-weekly, Airbus A319 from October 26; Washington (IAD) - Palm Beach, 4x-weekly, Airbus A320, on November 21; Washington (IAD) - Cancun, weekly, A320, on November 22; St Louis - Ft Lauderdale, 3x-weekly, A319, on January 8; St Louis - Orlando, 3x-weekly, A319, on December 21; Milwaukee - Orlando, 3x-weekly, A320, on January 7; Milwaukee - Ft Myers, 3x-weekly, A320, on January 8; Chicago (ORD), daily, A320, on December 20; Atlanta - Orlando, 5x-weekly, A319, on December 14; and Trenton - Palm Beach, 3x-weekly, A319, on November 21.
(FRO) will commence twice-weekly Trenton, New Jersey to Nassau International flights on-board its A319-100s effective November 20. The route will mark Trenton's first scheduled, international service, and will add to Frontier (FRO)'s existing Trenton route network which currently constitutes nineteen local USA destinations.
Frontier Airlines (FRO) continued to expand its domestic network with the addition of five new routes from Washington Dulles (IAD), all of which are operated by the airline’s 168-seat A320s. Notably, the average weekly frequency across the 28 new routes is 4.4. With the longest route being the 1,461 km sector to Minneapolis-St Paul (MSP), and the shortest being inaugurated to Charlotte Douglas (CLT) at 517 km, (FRO) will face extensive competition on all new airport pairs from Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL) and US Airways (AMW)/(USA). In addition, starting from September, (FRO) will commence an array of new routes from Washington Dulles, namely to Chicago O’Hare (6x weekly), Cincinnati, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Memphis, St Augustine, and St Louis.
(FRO) currently operates 55 airplanes, and serves 5 countries, 85 destinations, 200 routes and 269 daily flights.
September 2014: Frontier Airlines (FRO) (which has moved to the ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) business model) will not truly be able to compete with others in the category until it lowers costs, not including fuel, to six cents per available seat mile, Chairman, William Franke said.
(FRO) continued to expand its presence at Washington Dulles (IAD) with four more links to Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Fort Myers (RSW) and St Louis (STL). In addition, (FRO) launched its third route to Las Vegas (LAS) on September 11th, when it commenced twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays) flights on the 2,937 km sector from Cleveland (CLE). Las Vegas is already served by (FRO) from Denver and Washington Dulles with 36 and four weekly flights, respectively. (FRO) will face competition on three of the five new additions from a mix of Southwest Airlines (SWA) and United Airlines (UAL).
Frontier Airlines (FRO) will begin new daily, Airbus A319 services from Phoenix November 20 to: Houston, Salt Lake City and San Francisco. (FRO) began Chicago O’Hare (ORD) - Washington Dulles 6x-weekly September 15 and begins (ORD) - Cleveland 4x-weekly October 1, (ORD) - Denver 5x-weekly October 1; (ORD) - Atlanta 4x-weekly October 2; and daily, (ORD) - Phoenix October 26; (ORD) - Salt Lake City October 26, and (ORD) - Orlando December 20.
Frontier Airlines (FRO) has unveiled a new livery as part of its ongoing effort to redefine itself as an ultra-low-cost carrier.
The new look “pays homage” to the Denver-based carrier's history by including aspects of the brand that date to the 1950s, when it operated Douglas DC-3 airplanes.
The new livery still includes the entire word “Frontier” on the side of the airplane (SEE PHOTO - - "FRO-2014-09 - NEW LIVERY") and various animals will still adorn the airplanes’ tails.
(FRO) also hired President Barry Biffle, a former Executive VP of Spirit (SPR), to help oversee the transformation.
October 2014: The USA Centers for Disease Control (CDC) & Prevention interviewed 132 passengers who flew on an October 13 Frontier Airlines (FRO) flight from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth after one of the flight’s passengers tested positive for the Ebola virus.
The Dallas health care worker did not report symptoms until the day after she flew on (FRO) Frontier Flight 1143, but (CDC) said that “because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness the following morning, public health professionals did not begin interviewing passengers about the flight, answering their questions and arranging follow up. Individuals who are determined to be at any potential risk are being actively monitored.”
The (CDC) added, “The health care worker exhibited no signs or symptoms of illness while on Flight 1143, according to the crew ((FC) - (CA)). (FRO) worked closely with the (CDC) to identify and notify passengers who may have traveled on Flight 1143 on October 13.”
Frontier (FRO) said that it had been “notified by the (CDC) that a customer traveling on (FRO) Flight 1143 had since tested positive for the Ebola virus.” (FRO) added, “The flight landed in Dallas/Fort Worth at 8:16 pm local and remained overnight at the airport having completed its flying for the day, at which point the airplane received a thorough cleaning per our normal procedures which is consistent with (CDC) guidelines prior to returning to service the next day. It was also cleaned again in Cleveland.”
(FRO) also said the passenger who has tested positive for Ebola “previously had traveled from Dallas/Fort Worth to Cleveland on Frontier Flight 1142 on October 10.”
(IATA) Director General & (CEO), Tony Tyler said (IATA) is “following the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that effectively are saying that this disease is not infectious unless someone has symptoms, and if they have symptoms, they are unlikely to be well enough to travel, but clearly vigilance is needed.”
November 2014: News Item A-1: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will not launch two new routes next month to the Bahamas as scheduled, saying that bookings “did not meet expectations.”
(FRO) was expected to fly from Trenton, New Jersey and Washington Dulles to Nassau, Bahamas beginning November 20. While it has been aggressive in cutting unprofitable routes launched by former ownership, the Bahamas flights were announced in August and were
part of (FRO)’s new ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) strategy. But in this case, (FRO) decided that canceling the route was preferable to losing money, even over a short period.
(FRO) said the airplanes that had been allocated for the Bahamas service will instead fly two other routes (Washington Dulles to Miami and Trenton to Fort Lauderdale).
(FRO)’s statement alluded to a problem with hotel room availability in Nassau, noting that there were fewer rooms for sale than (FRO) expected. A new $3.5 billion resort with 2,900 rooms called Baha Mar was expected to open by December, but construction issues have pushed the project back to late spring 2015.
(FRO) has made several tweaks to its network in the past month, as it moves to more of the Spirit Airlines (SPR)’s model—connecting larger markets with larger markets. (FRO) recently said it was starting new service between St Louis and Las Vegas 3x-weekly, beginning in January. Recently, (FRO) launched five new routes from Cincinnati to Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale.
“It’s still a new market, but we are pleased,” (FRO) spokesman Todd Lehmacher said of Cincinnati. “Bookings are meeting expectations.”
Meanwhile, smaller cities continue to fall from the network. (FRO) recently announced plans to suspend service to Bakersfield and Fresno, California, as well as Eugene, Oregon and Fairbanks, Alaska. Another city, Palm Springs, California, is being permanently dropped from the network, Lehmacher said. He said Palm Springs performed well in short bursts, when demand was high, but that loads could not sustain service over the long term.
Even as (FRO) continues to look more like Spirit (SPR), with so many flights from larger cities, (SPR)’s (CEO), Ben Baldanza said again that he is not concerned by his slightly smaller competitor, despite the two airlines beginning to overlap in more markets. “We don’t see a real threat in the (ULCC) space,” Baldanza told analysts on a recent earnings call.
News Item A-2: Frontier Airlines (FRO) continued to expand its offering with the addition of seven new routes, all in time for Thanksgiving. With the longest sector being the 2,631 km route from Houston Intercontinental, TX (IAH) to San Francisco (SFO), and the shortest being launched from Phoenix (PHX) to Salt Lake City (SLC) at 816 km, (FRO) will face direct competition on five of the new additions from United Airlines (UAL), US Airways (AMW)/(USA), Southwest Airlines (SWA) and Delta Air Lines (DAL):
Houston International (IAH) to San Francisco (SFO) A319 7x weekly vs (UAL) 77x;
Phoenix (PHX) to (IAH) A319 7x vs (UAL) 35x, (AMW/(USA) 30x; to (SLC) A319 7x vs (AMW)/(USA) 39x; (SWA) 33x; (DAL) 30x; to (SFO) A319 7x vs (AMW)/(USA) 37x, (SWA) 27x, (UAL) 25x;
Trenton, New Jersey (TTN) to Palm Beach, Florida (PBI);
Washington Dulles (IAD) to Cancun (CUN) A320 1x vs (UAL) 9x; to (PBI) A320 4x.
(FRO) begins 3x-weekly, St Louis - Las Vegas service on January 13.
News Item A-3: Frontier Airlines (FRO) has placed its first Airbus A321 order, inking a deal for nine of the type to join its all-Airbus fleet. The order takes (FRO) to a backlog of 89 Airbus airplanes, including 80 A320neos. Airbus (EDS) said (FRO) has not yet announced its engine selection or seating configuration for the A321s.
(FRO) began its transition to an all-Airbus (EDS) fleet when it took delivery of its first Airbus airplane in 2001. The Airbus single-aisle family has allowed (FRO) to expand its route network, while minimizing operating costs.
(FRO) (CEO), David Siegel said, “We continue to come back for more A320 family airplanes because they fulfill our mission of providing low fares through low operating costs. The A321 is a natural fit with our unique brand of low fares.”
(FRO) currently flies a fleet of 35 A319ceos and 20 A320ceos.
December 2014: Frontier Airlines is to end Chicago flights from Cleveland. (FRO) will also drop non-stop service to Chicago O'Hare from Cleveland, as part of cuts that it is making at the airport in Ohio.
(FRO)'s non-stop flights to Chicago, which started only on October 1st, will last operate on January 2nd 2015. The route will still be served by American Airlines (AAL) and United Airlines (UAL).
The withdrawal from Cleveland - Chicago comes as (FRO) also ends service from Cleveland to New York LaGuardia, Trenton, and Washington Dulles this month.
Separately, (FRO) is shifting flights to Raleigh-Durham and Seattle from Cleveland to a seasonal basis. Both routes will resume on April 30th 2015. Seasonal service to Phoenix will end on April 27th.
The Cleveland routes being cut permanently did not meet (FRO)'s expectations. "But it doesn't reduce our commitment to Cleveland," (FRO) stating that it is still studying what markets will work best from the airport.
(FRO) will continue to serve several cities year-round from Cleveland: Fort Myers, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, Las Vegas, and Fort Lauderdale.
(FRO) also operates to Punta Cana and Cancun in partnership with Apple Vacations.
January 2015: Frontier Airlines (FRO) is changing its strategy at Trenton-Mercer Airport to limit East - West flying in winter, but still views the market as a valuable part of its network, even though it has increased departures at nearby Philadelphia International Airport.
February 2015: News Item A-1: A320-214 (5526, N228FR "Cardinal") delivery in new livery featuring a cardinal bird named "Orville" dedicated to aviation notable Orville Wright. The cardinal is the state bird of Ohio (the Wright brothers home state). The airplane was transferred from Monarch Airlines (MON).
March 2015: Frontier Airlines (FRO) expanded its presence at Atlanta (ATL) with the addition of three new routes on March 6th. Firstly, (FRO) introduced six weekly flights to Austin-Bergstrom (AUS) using its 168-seat A320s, a route already flown by Delta Air Lines (DAL) (48 times weekly) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) (13). Secondly, (FRO) increased its offering to Indianapolis (IND), adding six weekly flights utilizing its 138-seat A319s. (FRO) will compete with (DAL)a (55) and (SWA) (thrice-daily) on this route. Lastly, (FRO) added daily departures on the 958 km sector to Miami (MIA), flying its 138-seat A319s and competing with (DAL) (84) and (AAL) (47).
May 2015: News Item A-1: Frontier Airlines (FRO) expanded its Austin - Las Vegas service with the addition of one daily flight.
News Item A-2: Frontier Airlines (FRO) said Dave Siegel, (CEO) & President has resigned for personal reasons. The (CEO)'s departure comes shortly after the government said Frontier (FRO) had the highest complaint rate and the worst on-time performance among the nation's 14 leading airlines in March.
(FRO) announced that Siegel’s duties would be spilt by Chairman, Bill Franke, who will handle strategy and finance, and President, Barry Biffle, who will oversee day-to-day operations. Siegel, a former US Airways (USA) (CEO), was a holdover from Denver-based Frontier (FRO)’s previous owner, Republic Airways Holdings.
Franke’s Indigo Group (INZ) acquired (FRO) in late 2013 and Siegel, who had been named (FRO) (CEO) by Republic in January 2012, stayed on as (FRO) switched to an “ultra-low cost carrier” (ULCC) business model at Franke’s direction.
Following Siegel’s resignation, Biffle told "The Denver Post" that (FRO) isn’t planning to change its strategy. “We believe we’ve got the costs on the right track [and] we believe we’ve got the network on the right track,” he said. “We’ve just got to finish the last part of our promise of ‘low fares done right,’ which is to run a reliable airline.”
June 2015: News Item A-1: Frontier airlines (FRO) has launched a new, daily non-stop flight from Austin-Bergstrom International airport to Chicago O'Hare (ORD).
News Item A-2: Frontier Airlines (FRO) has placed a firm order for 10 Airbus A321ceo and two A320ceo airplanes - - see photo - - "FRO-2015-06 - A320ceo Family Order.jpg."
Including this order, (FRO) has a backlog of 101 Airbus (EDS) single-aisle aircraft. Their current in-service fleet consists of 55 A320 family aircraft (34 A319s and 21 A320s).
July 2015: News Item A-1: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will begin several new flights from Las Vegas, Orlando and Philadelphia from October 25.
(FRO) will launch nonstop daily service to Miami, Milwaukee, Houston Intercontinental, and San Francisco from Las Vegas. The new flights will bring the number of (FRO)'s destinations to 13 from Las Vegas.
At Orlando, (FRO) will launch new daily service to Indianapolis and Los Angeles.
Finally, (FRO) will begin flights from Philadelphia to Fort Myers and Montego Bay.
(FRO) will face competition on all of its new routes. (FRO) will be pitted against at least four airlines on the two most competitive routes: Las Vegas - San Francisco and Orlando - Los Angeles. (FRO) will compete against United Airlines (UAL), Virgin America (VUS), Southwest Airlines (SWA) and JetBlue Airways (JBL) on the former route, and against Delta Air Lines (DAL), (UAL), American Airlines (AAL) and (VUS) on the latter.
(FRO) will compete against (AAL) on Las Vegas - Miami, (SWA) on Las Vegas - Milwaukee, and both (UAL) and Spirit Airlines (SPR) on Las Vegas - Houston Intercontinental. On Orlando - Indianapolis, (FRO) will compete against (DAL) and (SWA).
At Philadelphia, (FRO) will end the monopoly of (AAL)'s US Airways (AMW)/(USA) subsidiary on both routes to Fort Myers and Montego Bay.
News Item A-2: Air Lease Corporation (ALE) announced long-term lease agreements with Frontier Airlines (FRO), an ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) based in the USA, for two new Airbus A320-200s. These aircraft are from (ALE)’s order book with Airbus (EDS) and will deliver in the second and third quarters of 2016.
August 2015: News Item A-1: Frontier Airlines (FRO) began daily, Orlando - Indianapolis Airbus A320 and Orlando - Los Angeles A319 services.
News Item A-2: Frontier Airlines (FRO) appointed Gary Appling as VP Technical Operations. Appling began his career with the US Air Force (USF) as a jet engine technician and a customer service agent. He has held various positions in many areas of technical operation with various aviation companies, including the Mesa Air Group, Continental Airlines (CAL) and Airborne Express (ABX).
October 2015: News Item A-1: Frontier Airlines (FRO) commenced eight new routes on October 25th, with all of them being flown with a daily rotation, except for services between Philadelphia (PHL) and Montego Bay (MBJ). The 2,388 km sector between Philadelphia and the Jamaican airport will operate 3x-weekly. The average sector length of the new services is 2,181 km. All of (FRO)’s new services will face direct competition.
Las Vegas (LAS) to Houston International (IAH), A319 7x, vs United Airlines (UAL) 42x, and Spirit Airlines (SPR) 14x, to Miami (MIA) A319 7x, vs American Airlines (AAL) 28x, to Milwaukee (MKE) vs Southwest Airlines (SWA) 21x, to San Francisco (SFO) A320 7x, vs (UAL) 66x, Virgin America (VUS) 48x, (SWA) 45x, JetBlue (JBL) 21x;
Orlando (MCO) to Indianapolis (IND) A320 7x, vs (SWA) 17x, to Los Angeles (LAX) A319 7x, vs Delta Airlines (DAL) 18x, (UAL) 14x, (AAL) 7x, (VUS) 7x;
Philadelphia (PHL) to Montego Bay (MBJ) A320 3x, vs (AAL) 6x, Southwest Florida (RSW) A320 7x, vs (AAL) 15x.
News Item A-2: Frontier Airlines (FRO) has taken delivery of the first Airbus A321ceo to join its fleet (has Owl on tail).
In the last year, (FRO) has placed firm orders for 19 A321ceos. The new A321ceos will initially be used on routes from Orlando to Philadelphia, Denver, Cleveland, and Detroit. This fall, (FRO) opened a new crew base in Orlando to support the A321.
Each aircraft seats 230Y people in a single class configuration, and is powered by (CFM56-5B) engines. Frontier’s current in-service fleet comprises 57 A320 family aircraft (35 A319s and 22 A320s). In addition to the remaining 18 A321s on backlog, (FRO) has 18 A319neo, 62 A320neo, and two A320ceo aircraft on order, for a total backlog of 100 Airbus single-aisles.
A320-214 (6838, N232FR "Sammy Squirrel"), ex-(F-WWDZ), (BOC) Aviation (SIL) leased, and A321-211 (6845, N704FR "Virginia, the Wolf"), ex-(D-AVXH), (GEF) leased.
December 2015: News Item A-1: Baggage fees revenues for USA airlines in (3Q) 2015 rose +6.2% year-over-year, to $1.02 billion, according to the USA Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). It is the first time third-quarter baggage fee revenues have surpassed the $1 billion threshold.
In contrast, reservation cancellation/change fees revenues for the 11 major USA reporting airlines plus two other carriers (Sun Country Airlines (SCA) and Island Air Hawaii) were down -0.4% year-over-year (YOY), to $755.2 million.
In figures released December 15 by the (BTS), a USA Department of Transportation agency, American Airlines (AAL)’s (3Q) revenue figures in both categories reflected the consolidation of its reporting following its merger with US Airways (AMW)/(USA), with extreme (YOY) boosts in revenue: for baggage fees, (AAL)’s revenue grew +88.5% (YOY), while for reservation cancellation/change fees, its revenue grew +51.7% (YOY). Looking more closely, however, if the (3Q) 2014 revenues from both airlines are combined and contrasted to the consolidated (AAL) (3Q) 2015 revenue, the (AAL)'s (YOY) changes are more realistic, with baggage fee revenue rising +3.9% (YOY), and reservation cancellation/change fee revenue falling -2.7% (YOY).
For third-quarter baggage fee revenues, after American Airlines (AAL)’s $292.1 million in revenue, Delta Air Lines (DAL) earned the most, with $236.9 million in revenue, virtually flat with its (3Q) 2014 total. United Airlines (UAL) was next, with $184.7 million in revenue, up +2.2% (YOY).
Four of the five reporting low-cost-carriers (LCCs) showed remarkable jumps in (3Q) 2015 baggage fee revenue. JetBlue Airways (JBL) reported $42.7 million in (3Q) baggage fee revenue, up +86.6% from $22.9 million in (3Q) 2014. Allegiant Air (WJE), Spirit Air Lines (SPR) and Frontier Airlines (FRO) all saw (YOY) baggage fee revenue growth of +25.2%, +23.5% and +22.6%, respectively. Virgin America (VUS)’s (3Q) baggage fee revenue fell -1% (YOY).
Southwest Airlines (SWA) reported a -34.9% (YOY) drop in baggage fee revenue, earning $11.5 million during the September quarter (compared to $17.7 million in (3Q) 2014). (SWA)’s baggage policy allows two checked pieces of baggage per customer. Excess baggage on (SWA) starts at $75 per item one-way.
(DAL) brought in the most revenue for reservation cancellation/change fees during the third quarter with $230.9 million, up +2.1% (YOY). Following (AAL)’s $217 million in revenue, (UAL) reported $202.2 million in revenue, down -4.2% (YOY).
Low Cost Carriers (LCC)s (FRO) and (WJE) both had notable increases in revenue for reservation cancellation/change fees during the quarter. (FRO)’s revenue was up +41.2% (YOY) to $9.3 million, while (WJE)’s was up +31.7% (YOY) to $2.7 million. Minneapolis-based, Sun Country Airlines (SCA) reported reservation cancellation/change fees revenue of $3.8 million during the quarter, over >5 times what the airline earned in (3Q) 2014.
January 2016: Denver-based ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) Frontier Airlines (FRO) unveiled a nationwide expansion in which it will add 42 new routes in April.
The expansion increases connectivity to cities already in (FRO)’s network. “(FRO)’s low fares in these new markets will benefit millions of new fliers who are forced to drive, because they haven’t found affordable air travel options (or they simply stay at home,” President, Barry Biffle said. “We see hundreds of additional opportunities like these throughout the country, fueling our growth for years to come.”
Highlights of the expansion include adding flights from Phoenix to Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon; flights from Cincinnati to Houston Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco; flights from Cleveland to Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon; and flights from Kansas City, Missouri to Atlanta, Chicago O’Hare, and Philadelphia.
Introductory one-way fares on the flights range from $39 to $79. (FRO) operates an all-Airbus A320 family fleet. Most of the new routes will be operated either 3x- or 4x-weekly.
January 2016: Frontier Airlines (FRO) will continue to search for routes to fly only 3x- or 4x-weekly, so it can increase its footprint without committing too much capacity to unproven markets.
February 2016: German Operating Aircraft Leasing (GOAL) arranged a sale and leaseback transaction for 2 Airbus A320-200s with Frontier Airlines (FRO). The 2 aircraft will be new delivered in the 2nd/3rd quarter 2016 and will be placed in (KGAL)’s Aircraft Portfolio Fund 1 for German institutional investors through the structure of an operating lease.
March 2016: News Item A-1: "USA Carriers File Applications to Start Scheduled Flights to Cuba" by (ATW) Editor Karen Walker, March 2, 2016.
All 4 USA major carriers and at least 3 independents filed applications with the USA government March 2, seeking approval to provide non-stop services to Cuba.
The flood of filings, submitted March 2, come after the USA and Cuba announced an agreement in February to resume scheduled commercial air service. Services are expected to begin late summer or early fall this year, with an initial total of 20 daily round-trip flights being allocated to USA airlines between the USA and Havana and 10 daily round-trip flights to 9 other Cuban cities.
Those slots will be hard fought over as the consolidated “big four”:— American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), United Airlines (UAL) and Southwest Airlines (SWA)) and independents Alaska Airlines (ASA), JetBlue Airways (JBL) and Silver Airways rushed to get their applications in. Ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) Spirit Airlines (SPR), based in Florida, has also said it said it plans to apply.
(AAL) is requesting 10 daily frequencies to Havana from its Miami hub plus additional service to Havana from Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Chicago. (AAL)’s proposal also includes daily service between Miami and five other Cuban cities.
To Havana, (AAL) is proposing 10 daily flights from Miami, one daily from Charlotte and (DFW), and one weekly from (LAX) and Chicago. (AAL) also wants to fly 2x-daily services out of Miami to Santa Clara, Holguin, and Varadero; and daily service to Camaguey and Cienfuegos.
Delta (DAL) wants to fly daily flights to Havana from Atlanta, New York (JFK), Miami, and Orlando, using Boeing 757-200s out of its Atlanta and (JFK) hubs and Boeing 737-800s on the Miami and Orlando routes.
United (UAL)'s proposal seeks 11 roundtrip flights per week to Havana that includes daily service from New York, plus one additional Saturday flight (8x-weekly flights), along with a Saturday-only flight from Houston George Bush Intercontinental, Washington Dulles and Chicago O'Hare (3x-weekly flights). (UAL) would use 737-800s.
Southwest (SWA) wants to serve Havana from 3 Florida airports: (Fort Lauderdale, Tampa Bay, and Orlando) as well as fly to Varadero and Santa Clara from Fort Lauderdale. (SWA) is an all-737 operator.
New York-based, JetBlue (JBL) would put Airbus A320s and A321s on 15 daily frequencies connecting 4 Cuba cities with 6 cities. These include 2x-daily, New York (JFK) - Havana; 4x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Havana; 1x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Camaguey; 1x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Holguiìn; 1x-daily, Fort Lauderdale - Santa Clara; 2x-daily, Orlando - Havana; 2x-daily, Tampa - Havana; 1x-daily, Newark - Havana; and 1x-daily, Boston - Havana.
JetBlue (JBL) said it anticipates a start date of September 8, or within <100 days after receipt of all necessary approvals, whichever is earlier.
Alaska Airlines (ASA) (seemingly the only USA carrier with a concept of Cuba’s still limited and fragile infrastructure) has placed a relatively modest request to fly 2x-daily nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Havana operating 737-900ERs.
Silver Airways, a small regional carrier that operates Saab 340B turboprops, is seeking approval to serve 10 Cuban destinations from the five Florida cities of Key West, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Fort Myers/Naples.
Although the restoration of an air bilateral with Cuba is widely welcomed, general USA tourist travel to Cuba is still not allowed. Initially, at least, the new arrangement will be aimed at facilitating visits by travelers who fall under one of the 12 categories authorized by the USA Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
However, USA President, Barack Obama is scheduled to make an historic visit to Cuba March 21 - 22 (the first sitting USA President to visit the Caribbean island in 88 years) as part of efforts to normalize diplomatic relations.
(IATA) and others forecast that USA tourism to Cuba will see huge growth.
News Item A-2: "Cuba is a Rare, Hot-growth Opportunity for USA Airlines" by Karen Walker in (ATW) Editor's Blog, March 3, 2016.
Large and significant as it is, the USA domestic air transport market is essentially a mature market, growing at about +4 to +5% annually. Relative to regions like China, which is seeing domestic travel increase at about +10% year over year, or India, that is seeing an astonishing +20% clip, the USA market has limited growth opportunities.
That helps to explain the mass rush to grab available frequencies to Cuba for scheduled flights that will become available later this year under the new USA - Cuba air bilateral.
American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Southwest Airlines (SWA), United Airlines (UAL), Alaska Airlines (ASA), JetBlue Airways (JBL), Silver Airways, Spirit Airlines (SPR), and Frontier Airlines (FRO) all want to get a slice of what is a rare new growth market right on America’s doorstep. Cuba isn’t a USA domestic destination, of course, but much of the Caribbean is regarded as “almost” domestic (especially from Florida and east coast cities (and Puerto Rico is a USA territory)) in terms of appeal and ease of access for American tourists.
What each of these airlines wants to establish is a foot in the door of this new market, then build on it as USA - Cuban diplomatic relations thaw and normalize. Here’s an opportunity to get in 1st on a near-USA market that is expected to see double-digit air traffic growth, akin to the emerging and much further afield markets like China and India.
India, of course, is a much tougher market for USA airlines to break into because the major Gulf carriers got ahead of that game. China, also, is a huge future market (but Chinese carriers are also growing fast, in numbers, quality, aircraft capacity and ability to compete).
Cuba has only Cubana (CUB), a small airline with very limited resources and which has been severely restricted by Havana in the types and origin of aircraft and components it can operate.
In the application filings submitted this week to the USA Department of Transportation, (AAL) made the biggest grab, seeking more than half of the 20 daily round trips that are expected to be made available to Havana, as well as some of the 10 daily round trips dispersed among Cuba’s other nine airports. (AAL)’s interest is natural, given its Miami hub, but it seems unlikely that the (DOT) will extend a large hand to the largest of the big 4 consolidated airlines. That probably explains why (AAL) has hedged its bets and also submitted applications for Cuban cities like Santa Clara, Holguin, and Varadero, which the other airlines are far less interested in. Havana is the prize.
What will be interesting to see is whether the (DOT) divvies this year’s flight allocations between a couple of the “big four,” enabling them to offer meaningful frequencies and connections from the get-go, or whether it will disperse them more widely so that independents like JetBlue (JBL) (which operates charters to Cuba), Alaska (ASA), or even small turboprop regional, Silver can get a foothold and keep the market competitive. My guess is the latter.
The timing of this opportunity is also interesting. A few short years ago, Southwest (SWA) would not have been a player, but since its acquisition merger with AirTran (CQT), it has become an international airline with a significant Caribbean market it wants to grow. Will the (DOT) regard Southwest (SWA) as a low-cost competitor in its decision-making, or just another one of the big four that dominates 80% of the USA domestic market and warrants as much control as (AAL), (DAL), and (UAL)?
But remember, the real growth trajectory won’t occur until the USA lifts its prohibition on regular American tourists who can visit Cuba, just as they do in their millions to the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Mexico and the rest of the Caribbean. That’s the historic landmark that these USA airlines want to get ahead of and why these initial flight allocations are so important. It’s a critical moment for a USA airline to get in on the ground as a new market opens; and that’s a rare opportunity.
News Item A-3: Frontier Airlines (FRO), the Denver-based ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), has promoted President Barry Biffle to (CEO) and appointed him to the airline’s board of directors.
Biffle will also retain the title of President, which he has held since July 2014. Biffle and Frontier (FRO) Chairman Bill Franke had been splitting the (CEO)’s responsibilities since David Siegel resigned as (CEO) in May 2015.
“Under Barry’s executive leadership, (FRO) has made significant progress in its operational, financial and customer service performance over the last year,” Franke, who is also the Managing Partner of Frontier parent, Indigo Partners (INZ), said. “The board and I want to recognize the progress Barry has made in helping to build (FRO)Frontier into a successful ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC).”
Indigo (INZ) acquired Frontier (FRO) from Republic Airways Holdings in 2013 and directed the airline to transition to the (ULCC) model. Both Franke and Biffle had previously been involved with Florida-based Spirit Airlines (SPR), the 1st USA carrier to adopt the (ULCC) model.
Biffle was a Spirit (SPR) Executive VP and, among a number of senior management roles in the airline business, also previously served as VivaColombia (VVC)’s (CEO).
May 2016: Air Lease Corporation (ALE) delivered one new Airbus A320-200 to Frontier Airlines (FRO), the 1st of 2 new A320-200 aircraft deliveries on long-term lease from (ALE)’s order book with Airbus (EDS). The 2nd A320-200 is scheduled to deliver in fall 2016.
June 2016: News Item A-1: "Six USA Airlines Granted Permission to Operate Cuba Flights" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, June 10, 2016.
Six USA airlines have been granted permission by the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) to begin scheduled flights between the USA and Cuba in the autumn. The awards follow last December’s bilateral agreement between the USA and Cuba to restart scheduled commercial flights between the countries. The route authorities were approved for non-Havana services; the (DOT) said it will make a decision on Havana authorities over the summer.
American Airlines (AAL), Frontier Airlines (FRO), JetBlue Airways (JBL), Silver Airways (Saab 340B turboprop operator based in Fort Lauderdale), Southwest Airlines (SWA), and Sun Country Airlines (SCA) all had their applications to operate non-Havana routes approved in full by the (DOT). Miami-based Eastern Air Lines (EAL)’s application was deferred because the startup carrier using the historic name is currently only authorized to operate charter flights.
“Last year, President Obama announced that it was time to ‘begin a new journey’ with the Cuban people,” USA Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “Today, we are delivering on his promise by re-launching scheduled air service to Cuba after more than half a century.”
(AAL) has been authorized to fly 2x-daily between Miami and the Cuban destinations Santa Clara, Holguin, and Matanzas, and daily between Miami and Camaguey plus Cienfuegos. The flights to/from Santa Clara and Holguin will be operated with 160-seat Boeing 737-800s, while the three other routes will be flown with 144-seat Airbus A319s. (AAL) said the flights are expected to start in September.
(FRO) has been authorized to fly daily between Chicago O’Hare and Santiago de Cuba, and weekly (on Saturdays) between O’Hare and Matanzas. Additionally, (FRO) can fly 4x-weekly between Philadelphia and Camaguey, 3x-weekly between Philadelphia and Santa Clara, and weekly (on Saturdays) between Philadelphia and Matanzas. All of (FRO)’s Cuba flights will be operated with 180 to 186-seat A320s.
(JBL) has been given permission to fly daily between Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Camaguey, Holguin and Santa Clara in Cuba. All of (JBL)’s Cuba flights will be with 162-seat A320s.
Silver has been granted the authority to fly between Fort Lauderdale and nine Cuban destinations: Camaguey (5x-weekly, but not on Mondays or Fridays), Cayo Coco (3x-weekly), Cayo Largo del Sur (weekly on Saturdays), Cienfuegos (2x-weekly), Holguin (daily), Manzanillo (3x-weekly), Santa Clara (daily), Santiago de Cuba (daily) and Matanzas (4x-weekly). All of Silver’s flights will be operated with 34Y-seat Saab 340B turboprops.
(SWA) has been given permission to fly between Fort Lauderdale and Matanzas (2x-daily) and between Fort Lauderdale and Santa Clara (daily) using 143-seat 737-700s.
Sun Country (SCA) has been granted authority to fly between Minneapolis and Santa Clara (weekly on Sundays) and between Minneapolis and Matanzas (weekly on Saturdays) using 737s.
“Today’s news is historic on many fronts, especially for the families who, for the first time in generations, will have affordable air travel to visit their loved ones,” (JBL) President & (CEO), Robin Hayes said.
News Item A-2: 2 A321-211s (7179, N710FR "Fallon the Falcon;" 7184, N711FR "Powder the Polar Bear"), ex-(D-AZAD & D-AVZG), deliveries.
July 2016: Irish lessor Avolon (AZV) delivered an Airbus A321-200 aircraft to ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) Frontier Airlines (FRO). This is the 3rd (AZV) aircraft on lease to (FRO).
August 2016: News Item A-1: "USA Airlines Tickets to Havana Already On Sale" by (ATW) Mark Nensel, email@example.com, August 31, 2016.
The 8 USA airlines granted permission by the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) on August 31 to operate scheduled flights between the USA and Havana have begun rolling out proposed service plans. Tickets are already on sale at Spirit Airlines (SPR) and United Airlines (UAL). All routes require approval by the Cuban government. Most airlines will not reveal start dates until the approval is granted.
* Seattle-based Alaska Airlines (ASA) is tentatively scheduling 1x-daily service involving a Seattle - Los Angeles -Havana same-airplane routing.
* American Airlines (AAL) will operate 4x-daily service from Miami and a 1x-daily flight from Charlotte, North Carolina.
* Delta Air Lines (DAL) intends to begin 1x-daily nonstop service to Havana from Atlanta, Miami and New York (JFK) on December 1. (DAL) said tickets for the proposed flights will go on sale September 10. (DAL) operated charter flights to Havana from the USA at various times since 2002, including a period from October 2011 through December 2012 in which up to 12 flights to Havana per week originated from Miami, Atlanta and New York (JFK).
* Frontier Airlines (FRO) will operate 1x-daily service from Miami.
* New York-based JetBlue Airways (JBL), which on August 31 made the first commercial airline passenger flight to Cuba in nearly 55 years, will operate 2x-daily service from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (excluding Saturday, which will be 1x-daily) and 1x-daily service from both New York (JFK) and Orlando, Florida. (JBL) announced it will offer Cuban government-required health insurance coverage as part of the ticket purchase price. Additionally, as part of the online booking process, customers can fill out the required affidavit indicating which of 12 USA Treasury Department-approved Cuba-travel reasons (ie, family visits, educational activities, religious activities, journalism, humanitarian projects, professional research, professional meetings, etc.) is applicable to them.
* Florida-based low cost-carrier (LCC) Spirit Airlines (SPR) expects to begin 2x-daily nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport (FLL) on December 1. Tickets for (SPR)’s flights to Havana went on sale on September 1, but (SPR)’s booking site stipulates the flight is subject to government approval. Cuban government-required health insurance is bundled into the ticket price, (SPR) said.
* Southwest Airlines (SWA) intends to offer 2x-daily nonstop service to Havana from Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and 1x-daily nonstop service from Tampa, in addition to 2x-daily nonstops from (FLL) to Varadero, Cuca and 1x-daily nonstop service to Santa Clara, Cuba. (SWA) said the airline intends to launch its Cuban flights later this year.
* United Airlines (UAL) will begin 1x-daily nonstop flights to Havana from Newark, New Jersey, on November 29, pending Cuban government approval, (UAL) said. Additionally, (UAL) will have 1x-Saturday-only service to Havana from Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). (UAL)’s Havana flights went on sale on September 1. (UAL) will operate both services utilizing Boeing 737 airplanes.
A319-111 (2287, N934FR), (GEF) leased.
September 2016: Frontier Airlines (FRO) begins 1x-daily Miami - Havana service on December 1, (FRO), the ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) announced on September 7.
(FRO) is 1 of 8 USA airlines granted permission by the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) on August 31 to begin scheduled flights between the USA and Havana, Cuba. Before the flights can commence, however, the Cuban government must grant approval of the new routes.
Scheduled passenger service between the USA and 9 Cuban cities other than Havana began August 31 with JetBlue Airways (JBL)’s flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Santa Clara, Cuba.
Frontier (FRO) Senior VP Commerial & Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Daniel Shurz said, “[Our] business model will give people the option [for] affordable air travel to this fascinating new destination.”
Additionally, (FRO) has configured connection service to Miami from both Denver and Las Vegas. Both connecting routes for the outbound flight to Havana will be overnight flights.
News Item A-2: A321-211 (7286, N713FR "Mitch the Wolverine"), (GEF) leased.
October 2016: A320-251 (7249, N303FR), EX-(F-WWIY).
November 2016: News Item A-1: The 1st commercial passenger flights in 55 years between the USA and Havana, Cuba, departed November 28, as Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines (AAL) and New York-based low-cost carrier (LCC) JetBlue Airways (JBL) each launched scheduled service to the island nation’s capital.
(AAL) flight 17, a Boeing 737-800, took off from Miami International Airport at 7:41 am and landed at Havana’s José Martí International Airport at 8:25 am. (JBL) flight 243, an Airbus A321, departed New York’s (JFK) International Airport at 9:45 am and landed in Havana at 12:34 pm.
The (AAL) and (JBL) flights are the vanguard of scheduled commercial passenger service to Havana from 8 USA airlines. Havana service was also awarded to Alaska Airlines (ASA), Delta Air Lines (DAL), Frontier Airlines (FRO), Southwest Airlines (SWA), Spirit Airlines (SPR) and United Airlines (UAL).
(UAL) is scheduled to begin its Havana service from Newark Liberty International Airport on November 29, with (DAL), (SPR) and (FRO) all launching Havana service December 1. (SWA) will launch Havana service December 12. (ASA) will launch its Havana service from Los Angeles on January 5, 2017.
The USA announced the resumption of commercial passenger airline service to Cuba following the signing of an agreement between the 2 countries on February 17. The 1st commercial flights between the USA mainland and Cuba began August 31, with a (JBL) flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Santa Clara, Cuba. That same day the USA Department of Transportation awarded 8 USA airlines service routes to Havana.
January 2017: A321-211 (7524, N716FR "Seymour the Walrus"), ex-(D-AYAC), delivery.
February 2017: A320-251neo (7472, N307FR "Champ the Bronco"), ex-(F-WWDM).
March 2017: News Item A-1: USA carriers Silver Airways and Frontier Airlines (FRO) said they will end service to Cuba, citing excess capacity and other challenges in the newly reopened USA - Cuba market.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Silver and (FRO) were 2 of 9 USA airlines that started serving Cuba in the 2nd half of 2016 and early this year after former USA President Barack Obama initiated a reopening of USA - Cuba relations that included the 1st air services agreement between the 2 countries in >50 years. But Silver (which operates flights from Fort Lauderdale to smaller Cuban destinations with 34-seat Saab 34B turboprops) and Frontier (FRO) (which started operating daily Airbus A320 Miami - Havana flights on December 1, 2016) have quickly determined the USA - Cuba market is not viable.
Silver will drop service April 22 to the Cuban destinations Santa Clara, Camagüey, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Cayo Coco, Varadero and Manzanillo. (FRO) will drop Miami - Havana flights June 4.
Other USA airlines are maintaining service to Cuba despite challenges, noting it is a new market that will take time to develop. But American Airlines (AAL) did trim flights from Miami to the Cuban destinations Holguin, Santa Clara and Varadero from 2x-daily to 1x-daily in February. It also switched from 144-seat A319s to 76-seat Embraer E175s on flights to the Cuban cities Camaguey and Cienfuegos.
While commercial air service between the USA and Cuba has been restored, there are still restrictions on Americans’ travel to the island nation, with travelers having to fit into one of 12 approved categories that include, among other areas, trips related to education and humanitarian causes. But trips to Cuba purely to take a vacation are not allowed.
There also is a great deal of uncertainty about whether USA President Donald Trump, who was highly critical of his predecessor’s Cuba policy during last year’s presidential campaign, will maintain the air services agreement and other USA ties to Cuba.
Especially considering these trials, Silver and Frontier (FRO) have concluded there is far too much capacity in the USA - Cuba market.
“While the actual total number of passengers currently traveling to and from Cuba on all carriers combined is in line with what Silver originally projected, other airlines continue to serve this market with too many flights and oversized aircraft, which has led to an increase in capacity of approximately +300% between the USA and Cuba,” Silver spokesperson Misty Pinson said in an email. “In addition to overcapacity, distribution through online travel agencies and code share agreements has been unavailable since airlines began servicing Cuba last fall. Now, 6 months later, this issue is still not fully resolved, resulting in depressed demand. This lack of demand coupled with overcapacity by the larger airlines has made the Cuban routes unprofitable for all carriers.”
A (FRO) spokesperson said that “costs in Havana to turn an aircraft significantly exceeded our initial assumptions” and “market conditions have failed to materialize there.” The spokesperson noted that “excess capacity has been allocated to the Florida - Cuba market.”
Frontier (FRO) will add a 2nd daily Denver - St Louis service instead of serving Havana.
News Item A-2: Frontier Airlines (FRO) has named Josh Flyr its new VP Network & Revenue. Flyr joined (FRO) in 2011 as Director Planning.
May 2017: News Item A-1: Frontier (FRO) started a bunch of new routes for the summer last month; includes several from its Ohio cities.
News Item A-2: Frontier Airlines (FRO) introduced 2 new unique routes to San Diego (SAN), with (FRO) launching flights from Cincinnati (CVG) and Cleveland (CLE). “(FRO) now offers 17 non-stop year-round and/or seasonal destinations on 93x-weekly.
(FRO) also becomes San Diego’s 4th largest carrier in terms of daily flights and 2nd largest carrier in terms of seats offered. This success would not have been possible without the support of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky community.” (FRO) will operate the 2,993 km link between Cincinnati and San Diego, which launched May 21, 3x-weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays).
Flights on the 3,254 km city pairing of Cleveland and San Diego, which began May 22, will be flown 4x-weekly, with both routes being served by (FRO)’s fleet of A320s.
Finally this month, Frontier (FRO) has also started a connection between Cleveland and Houston Intercontinental (IAH). Also launched May 22, the 1,754 km route, which will also be flown on A320s, will go head-to-head with United Airlines (UAL), with the Star (SAL) Alliance member already providing 33x-weekly flights on the sector.
A320-251neo (7600, N310FR "Sunny the Collared Lizard"), ex-(F-WWIT) delivery.
June 2017: A320-251neo (7642, N311FR "Mia the Dolphin"), ex-(D-AUBV) and A321-211 (7736, N719FR "Midnight the Wolf), ex-(D-AVYZ).
August 2017: News Item A-1: Frontier Airlines (FRO) pilot (FC) leaders (frustrated with the slow pace of contract talks) plan to ask members, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), for authority to strike if negotiations break down and the federal government authorizes a walkout.
(ALPA)’s (FRO) Master Executive Council (MEC) voted unanimously August 9 to conduct a strike-authorization ballot that will open August 22 and close September 8. According to (ALPA), once passed, the ballot would authorize the pilot (FC) leadership to declare a strike when the pilot (FC) group is given permission to do so by the National Mediation Board (NMB).
“We are still working under a bankruptcy contract negotiated 10 years ago,” Frontier (FRO) (MEC) chairman Tracy Smith said. “For the past 2 years, Frontier has enriched its owners and management with personal dividends paid from historically high revenues and profits, while our members are the lowest-paid Airbus pilots in North America.”
Smith added the pilots (FC) “lag behind our peers in virtually every aspect of pay, benefits and job security. Our pilots (FC) repeatedly agreed to concessions to keep our company in business over the past decade, and it’s time for management to reciprocate by agreeing to a fair contract without further delay.”
(ALPA) opened contract negotiations with (FRO) in March of last year. The parties have been working with a federal mediator since October 2016, with another mediation session set for the week of August 21.
A Frontier (FRO) spokesperson said “We are negotiating through the formal mediation process and this action has no bearing on that process. As long as these negotiations continue, there is absolutely zero threat of a strike. (FRO) remains committed to reaching an agreement that is fair for both our pilots (FC) and the company.”
Before a strike could take place, (ALPA) said the (NMB) would have to release the 2 sides from mediation, and then offer binding arbitration. If either party rejects arbitration, a 30-day cooling-off period would commence, after which both parties could exercise self-help—a strike by the union or a lockout by the company, according to (ALPA).
News Item A-2: Frontier Airlines (FRO) has introduced Long Island MacArthur (ISP) to its network this month, with (FRO) on August 16 beginning a daily A320-operated route to the New York State airport from Orlando (MCO). “We are so excited to welcome (FRO) to Long Island MacArthur Airport. We want Long Island to experience (FRO) and enjoy flying non-stop across the country right from (ISP),” said Shelley LaRose-Arken, Commissioner, Long Island MacArthur Airport.
“Within 2 months of announcing service to Orlando, (FRO) was back with us making plans to serve some of the top markets on our wish list,” she added. Indeed these meetings were successful, with (FRO) already scheduled to begin flights from the airport to SW Florida, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa and West Palm Beach before the start of Week 17/18.
Back to this week’s launch, the 1,563 km route to Orlando is already served by Southwest Airlines (SWA) which offers 3x-daily flights on the city pair.
Along with introducing a new airport to its network this week, Frontier (FRO) has also started linking Las Vegas (LAS) to Cedar Rapids (CID). Launched on August 15, the 2,118 km route between the Nevada and Iowa airports will be operated 3x-weekly on A320s, with Allegiant Air (WJE) providing the competition. (WJE) already serves the route with a 2x-weekly rotation.
September 2017: Frontier Airlines (FRO)’s pilots (FC) voted unanimously September 8 to authorize a strike if the National Mediation Board (NMB) decides that further contract mediation efforts would be unproductive.
According to the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents (FRO) pilots (FC), if either side declines arbitration, the parties enter a 30-day cooling off period, after which both sides could exercise self-help, whether it is a strike by the pilots (FC) or a lockout by the company. “This vote shows the deep anger our pilots (FC) feel towards the direction set by our management,” (ALPA)’s (FRO) Master Executive Council (MEC) Chairman Tracy Smith said, adding (FRO) pilots (FC) are “the lowest-paid Airbus (EDS) pilots (FC) in North America.”
To bolster its complaint, the union cited a recent determination by a neutral arbitrator that found (FRO) guilty of bad-faith bargaining for reneging on a promise to increase pilot (FC) pay if (FRO) met prescribed profit margins. “Even though (FRO)’s margins overwhelmingly exceeded the minimums set to trigger negotiations, management has repeatedly refused to consider any pilot (FC) pay increase,” (ALPA) said.
(ALPA) opened contract negotiations with (FRO) in March of last year, when the pilots' (FC)’s contract became amenable. The parties have been working with a federal mediator since October 2016.
"Negotiations with our pilots (FC) continue under the guidance of the National Mediation Board," a (FRO) spokesperson said. "A strike will not happen as long as these negotiations are in progress. (FRO) remains committed to reaching an agreement that is fair for both our pilots (FC) and the company."
October 2017: Frontier Airlines (FRO) introduced Ontario (ONT) to its network on October 12, starting a 3x-weekly link from Austin (AUS) and a daily rotation from Denver (DEN). The following day (FRO) then commenced a 4x-weekly service from San Antonio (SAT). Both 1,922- and 1,872-km links from the Texan cities will be flown by (FRO)’s A320 fleet, while the 1,315 km connection from the Colorado capital Denver will see A319 operations.
Mark Thorpe, (CEO) of Ontario Airport, said at the inaugural flight from Austin, which had a flight number of F9 1923: “Our headquarters, on the other side of the airport, are on 1923 East Avion. I take that as a sign of very good luck. I think we’re going to have more than just good luck, we’re going to have a very successful operation here by Frontier (FRO).” Of the new route trio, only Denver services will face direct competition, with United Airlines (UAL) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) both operating 13x-weekly flights on the airport pair.
Ontario becomes (FRO)’s 5th destination in California, with (FRO) already serving Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, and San Francisco.
November 2017: News Item A-1: Airbus (EDS) signed a $49.5 billion deal on November 15 to sell 430 airplanes to Indigo Partners (INZ) the Phoenix based private equity firm, representing (EDS)' biggest deal ever at the Dubai Air Show.
Airbus (EDS)' previous biggest aircraft sale deal was made in August 2015, when it sold 250 A320neos to Indian low cost carrier (LCC) Indigo Airlines (unrelated to Indigo Partners) in a deal estimated to be worth $26 billion at list prices.
The Airbus (EDS) deal with Indigo Partners (INZ) will split the 430 airplane orders into 273 A320neos, and 157 A321neos among Denver, USA based Frontier Airlines (FRO), JetSmart (JSM) of Chile, Volaris (VLS) of Mexico and Wizz Air (WZZ) of Hungary. The A320neos list for $108.4 million apiece and A321neos at $127 million.
December 2017: Frontier Airlines (FRO) launched flights to Buffalo (BUF) on December 6, with it becoming (FRO)’s latest destination. The 1st route to (BUF), the New York State airport was from Tampa (TPA), while links from Orlando (MCO), Miami (MIA) and SW Florida (RSW) were inaugurated on December 10. Along with the 4 Floridian connections, (FRO) will link Buffalo to its home hub of Denver from April 9 next year.
Along with the new links to Buffalo, (FRO) has also added a further 2 spokes to its SW Florida (RSW) network, while an international service from Kansas City (MCI) has been launched to Cancún (CUN). The average frequency of the 7 routes started by (FRO) this month is 3.9, while the mean sector length is 1,849 km.
Routes as follows:
Kansas City (MCI) to Cancun (CUN) A320 4x-; vs American (AAL) 1x-;
Miami (MIA) to Buffalo (BUF) A320 3x-;
Orlando (MCO) to (BUF) A320 7x-; vs Southwest (SWA) 18x-; (JBL) 7x-;
SW FLorida (RSW) to (BUF) A320 3x-;
to Grand Rapids (GRP) A320 3x-; vs (SWA) 1x;
to (MCI) A320 3x-;
Tampa (TPA) to (BUF) A320 4x-; vs (SWA) 13x-.
January 2018: Denver-based Frontier Airlines (FRO) and Mexico City-based Volaris (VLS) have entered into a code share agreement, signaling further cooperation between 2 carriers affiliated with private equity firm Indigo Partners (INZ).
(FRO), which adopted the ultra low cost carrier (LCC) model in 2014, is wholly owned by Indigo Partners (INZ), which is also a major shareholder in publicly traded Volaris (VLS) (generally considered to have the lowest unit costs of any North American airline). In recent months, there has been more talk of cooperation among Indigo Partners (INZ) affiliated airlines.
(INZ) Managing Partner Bill Franke announced a massive order at the Dubai Air Show in November for 430 Airbus A320neo family aircraft to be split among 4 (ULCC)s in which (INZ) has holdings: Frontier (FRO), Volaris (VLS), Chile-based JetSMART and Hungary-based Wizz Air (WZZ).
(INZ) has said Frontier (FRO) will get 100 A320neos and 34 A321neos from the order, while Volaris will get 46 A320neos and 34 A321neos.
Prior to the aircraft order, (INZ) had not talked about the airlines in which it has stakes as being connected. The (FRO) - (VLS) code share pact is another instance of Indigo Partners (INZ) carrier speaking publicly about cooperation.
“Volaris (VLS) is an ideal partner with which to align,” (FRO) President & (CEO) Barry Biffle said.
Subject to regulatory approval in the USA and Mexico, code sharing between (FRO) and (VLS) will commence this spring. “Once the code share is in place, passengers will enjoy a seamless low-fare travel experience traveling on (FRO) and (VLS),” the carriers said in a joint statement. “We estimate that our partnership will add around 20 new destinations to our network and 80 new routes between Mexico and the USA,” (VLS) (CEO) Enrique Beltranena said.
The carriers added: “A natural fit between the carriers’ networks already exists with each serving >20 of the same markets. In addition, both carriers fly Airbus A320 aircraft. (FRO) operates a fleet of 78 aircraft with 199 additional aircraft on order and (VLS) operates a fleet of 71 with 128 additional aircraft on order.”
February 2018: News Item A-1: Frontier Airlines (FRO) began its 46th non-stop route from its Denver (DEN) base on February 14. The 4x-weekly service from (FRO)’s biggest hub, operated by (FRO)’s A320 fleet, is to Jacksonville (JAX).
The 2,322 km sector will face direct competition from incumbent Southwest Airlines (SWA)’s daily rotation between the 2 cities.
News Item A-2: German Operating Aircraft Leasing (GOAL) arranged a sale and leaseback transaction for 6 A320neo aircraft with Denver-based Frontier Airlines (FRO). The 1st 2 aircraft were delivered to (FRO) in November and December 2017. The remaining 4 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered during 2018.
April 2018: "Frontier Pilots Say Talks are at an Impasse, Seek Arbitration" by Mark Nensel (firstname.lastname@example.org) April 30, 2018.
Frontier Airlines (FRO) pilots (FC), represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), are petitioning the National Mediation Board (NMB) to release the union from further contract negotiations, saying talks are at an impasse and “further mediation will be futile.”
In a letter submitted to the (NMB) on April 27, (ALPA) detailed the April 17 to 19 mediation session at which talks broke down.
(ALPA) said the union’s proposal for pay and benefits fell “within the range of recent pilot contract settlements at United (UAL), Delta (DAL), Southwest (SWA), Hawaiian (HWI) and Spirit Airlines (SPR), but at the lower end of that range.” According to (ALPA), (FRO)’s counter-proposal was “inadequate” and considerably lower than the pilot union’s demands.
“Despite its industry-leading financial performance, (FRO) has insisted upon a substantially discounted pilot (FC) contract,” (ALPA) President Tim Canoll said. “(ALPA) believes this dispute will only be resolved by proffering arbitration.”
If either side declines arbitration, the parties enter a 30-day cooling off period, after which both sides could exercise self-help, whether it is a strike by the pilots (FC) or a lockout by the company.
(FRO) and its pilots have been in negotiations for >2 years and in federal mediation since November 2016. (FRO)’s pilots have been working under a concessionary contract that the former union, the Frontier Airlines Pilots Association (FAPA), negotiated with (FRO)’s then-owners Republic Holdings in 2011. Republic sold (FRO) to Indigo Partners (INZ) at the end of 2013, and pilots voted to join (ALPA) in 2016. In September 2017, (FRO) pilots voted for a strike authorization after negotiations proved slow and unproductive. Talks, however, continued, with mediation sessions in February, March and April of this year. The last session concluded April 20 with no further sessions scheduled.
In an April 30 email, (FRO) said the company will “continue to be actively engaged in negotiations with our pilots for a new contract and continue to exchange proposals under the guidance of the National Mediation Board. We look forward to working toward an agreement that is fair, sustainable, and provides security for our collective future.”
Click below for photos:
FRO-A319 DEER WOLF
FRO-A319-112 - MICKEY THE MOOSE
FRO-A319-112-GRIZZLY BERA BENNY 2012-01
FRO-A319-WOLF - 2013-04
FRO-A320 - 2017-03.jpg
FRO-A320-200 - GRIZZLY BEAR - 2014-10
FRO-A320-200-FLAMINGO - 2014-08
FRO-A320-214 Cardinal - 2015-07.jpg
FRO-A320-214 GOLDEN EAGLE 2009-10
FRO-A320-214 SHARK - 2013-08
FRO-A321-211 N716FR Seymour the WALRUS.jpg
FRO-A321neo OWL - 1st 2015-10.jpg
0 737-2L9 (JT8D-17 HK) (812-22733, /81 N270FL; 818-22734, /81 N271FL), MULE DEER & OWL TAIL MOTIFS. 22733; 22734; RTT (GEH) 2002-10, LST (BEB). EX-(MRS), (GEF) LSD 1996-05, 108Y.
0 737-2P6 (JT8D-15 HK) (530-21613, /78 N1PC, EX-(ABD), (ILA) 7 YR LSD 1998-12. RTND 2003-10. 108Y.
0 737-2Y5 (JT8D-15A HK) (954-23039, /83 N21WA "RACOON" TAIL; 955-230440, /83 N118RW), "BIGHORN SHEEP" TAIL MOTIF, EX-(WII) 1999-07, (AFJ) LSD, RTND. 108Y.
0 737-228 (JT8D-15A HK) (941-23004, /83 N234TR; 948-23007 /83 N237TR), EX-(AFA), (TIA) LSD 1999-04, 2 RTND. 108Y.
0 737-3L9 (CFM56-3B2) (1775-24569, /92 N312FL), (TCI) LSD 1999-04, EX-(MRS). RTND, LST (DHI) 2005-06. 138Y.
0 737-3L9 (CFM56-3B2) (2234-26440, /92 N310FL BALD EAGLE SITTING & FLYING; 2277-26442, /92 N313FL), EX-(MRS)/(WII)/(DBA), (AFJ) 65 MTH LSD 1999-11. 26440 RTND (INZ) 2004-10. 138Y.
0 737-3M8 (CFM56-3B2) (2007-25039, /91 N303FL), "BEAR CUB" & "HAWK" TAIL MOTIFS. TO (USV) 2005-01. 138Y.
0 737-3Q8 (CFM56-3C1) (2623-26301, /94 N319FL "FOX;" 2878-27633, /97 304FL "MOOSE" & "WOLF;" 2541-26293, /93 25 10, N318FL), EX-(ARE), (ILF) LSD. 26293 RTND, LST (GIA) 2003-03. 27633 RTND 2005-05, LST (CDN). 138Y.
0 737-3S1 (CFM56-3B2) (1911-24856, /90 N311FL), (AFJ) LSD 1999-04, EX-(TAC), 138Y.
0 737-3U3 (CFM56-3) (2988-28738, /98 N308FL "ELK" TAIL), EX-(ANZ) & (HEF), 28734 RTND (ANZ) 2000-05; 8 RTND (HEF) 2001-09. 138Y.
0 737-301 (CFM56-3B1) (1124-23257, /85 N578US), "FOX PUPS" & "POLAR BEARS" TAIL MOTIF, EX-(PIE)/(USA), (GEF) LSD 1995. 23257 RTND 2004-02. 138Y.
0 737-317 (CFM56-3B1) (1216-23177, /86 N302FL), "MALLARD" & "MUSTANG" TAIL MOTIF. EX-(CPA)/(ALK), (GUI) LSD 1995. 136Y.
0 737-36E (CFM56-3B2) (2068-25159, /91 N315FL; 2123-25256, /91 N314FL "BOBCAT" TAIL; 2187-25263, /92 N317FL; 2194-25264, /92 N316FL), EX-(VIV), (GEF) 44 MTH LSD 2000-04, 25264 RTND 2004-03. 25263; 2004-04. 136Y.
0 737-36N (CFM56-3C1) (2921-28563, /97 N306FL), "SNOW HAWK" & "PELICAN" TAIL MOTIF, (GEF) LSD, RTND. LST (VNA) 2005-11. 138Y.
0 737-36Q (CFM56-3C1) (2914-28662, /97; 2989-28760, /98 N307FL), "DOLPHIN" "SUNSET & WATER" TAIL, (BOU) LSD, 28662 RTND 2004-09. 28760 RTND, LST (SHG) 2005-04. 138Y.
5 A318-111 (CFM56-5B8/P) (1660, /04 N805FR "GREAT GRAY OWL;" 1939, /03 N801FR "GRIZZLY BEAR GRIZWALD;" 1991, /03 N802FR "ELK MONTANA;" 2017, /03 N803FR "RABBIT STU;" 2051, /03 N804FR "RED FOX PUPS MO & JO;" 3028, N950FR; 3038, N808FR, 2007-02; 3092, N809FR, 2007-04; 3110, N810FR 2007-05; 3163, 812FR, 2007-06), 2 ST VTB LEASING, LST (SDM) 2008-03. 3038 SCRAPPED 2009-05. 3092; SCRAPPED 2009-09. 24PY, 90Y.
0 A318-111 (2218, /04 N806FR "BISON;" 2276, /04 N807FR "COUGAR"), (GEF) LSD. RTND. 114Y.
0 A318-122 (PW6124), (ILF) 12 YR LSD, 114Y.
40 ORDERS A319NEO (LEAP) (SEE ATTACHED - - "FRO-A319NEO-2011-06"):
31 +176 OPTIONS A319-111 (CFM56-5B5/P) (1488, /01 N901FR "WOLF" TAIL; 1515, /01 N902FR "WOOD DUCK WOODY;" 1560, /01 N903FR "ORCA WHALE;" 1579, /01 N904FR "TRUMPETER SWAN GRACE;" 1583, /01 N905FR "SEAL SHERMAN;" 1684, /02 N906FR "PRONGHORN ANDY;" 1743, /02 N907FR "MULE DEER;" 1759, /02 N908FR "GREAT BLUE HERON HOLLY;" 1761, /02 N909FR "GOOSE;" 1781, /02 N910FR "COUGAR SAL;" 1803, /02 N912FR "RED FOX PUP TRIXIE;" 1841, /02 N914FR "GREAT EGRET STRETCH;" 1863, /02 N913FR "HUMMINGBIRD;" 1851, /02 N915FR "MUSTANG;" 1876, /02 N916FR "MALLARD;" 1890, /02 N917FR "SNOWY OWL;" 1943, /03 N918FR "WHITE TAILED DEER JAKE;" 1980, /03 N919FR "OCELOT LANCE;" 1997, /03 N920FR "COYOTE CARL;" 2012, /03 N921FR "MOUNTAIN GOAT FRITZ;" 2019, /03 N922FR "RED FOX FOXY;" 2030, /03 N923FR "RACCOON RUDY;" 2103, 2/04 N924FR "POLAR BEAR CUBS;" 2103 /04 N925FR "DALL'S SHEEP DALE;" 2240, /04 N929FR "LYNX LARRY;" 2241, /04 N930FR "COUGAR & CUB;" 2253, /04 N931FR "BLACK BEAR CUB;" 2258, /04 N932FR "BALD EAGLE SARGE;" 2260, /04 N933FR "FERRUGINOUS HAWK;" 2287, /04 N934FR "LYNX KITTEN L.J.;" 2318, N935FR "SEA OTTER HEKTOR;" 2392, /05 N936FR "WALRUS EARL;" 2400, /05 N937FR "BLUE CROWNED CONURE;" 2465, /05 N940FR "SNOWSHOE HARE JACK" 2005-05; 2806, /06 N947FR "JAGUAR MAYA;" 2836, N948FR, 2006-07; 2857, N949FR, 2006-08). 2 ST VTB LEASING & LST (SDM) 2008-03. 1761; & 1890; ST VTB LSG 2008-05. 1863; 1876; ST VTB LSG FOR (SDM) 2008-12. 2763; RTND (GEF) 2008-12. 24PY, 108Y.
3 A319-111 (CFM56-5B5/P) (2700, N944FR "POLAR BEARS" 2006-02; 2751, N945FR "MOOSE CHOCOLATE" 2006-04; 2763, N946FR, 2006-05; 3028, N950FR, 2007-02), (GEF) LSD. 2700; RTND, LST (BAZ) 2008-10. 24PY, 108Y.
1 A319-111 ACJ (1494, /01 N320NP), (SIL) LSD, WET-LST BLUE MOON AVIATION (BMO) FOR PROFESSIONAL SPORTS TEAMS. 72F. VIP.
6 A319-111 (CFM56-5B5/P) (2198 /04 N926FR "BLACK TAILED DEER FAWN;" 2209, /04 N927FR "BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN FLIP;" 2236, /04 N928FR "BOBCAT HANK;" 2287, N934FR; 2406, /05 N938FR "ARCTIC FOX MISTY;" 2448, /05 N939FR "EMPEROR PENGUINS;" 2497, /05 N942FR "BIGHORN SHEEP"), (ILF) 12 YR LSD. 138Y.
7 A319-112 (CFM56-5B5/P) (1086, N954FR "MICKEY THE MOOSE;" 2483, /05 N941FR "GRAY WOLF LOBO;" 2518, /05 N943FR DEER FAWN CLOE;" 2836, /06 N948FR "PELICAN PETE;" 2857, /06 N949FR "WHITE ERMIN EMMA;" 4127, /09 N951FR GRIZZLY BERA BENNY;" 4204, /10 N952FR "MULE DEER MEL;" 4254, /10 N953FR "MALLARD O'MALLEY;" 24PY, 108Y.
/6 OPTIONS A318/A319:
2 ORDERS A320ceo:
5 +135 ORDERS A320neo (LEAP) (7472, N307FR "CHAMP THE BRONCO;" 7600, N310FR "SUNNY THE COLLARED LIZARD;" 7642, N311FR "MIA THE DOLPHIN;"), 2 +4 ORDERS (2 IN NOV/DEC 2017, +4 IN 2018 ALL (GOAL) LEASED). EX-(F-WWDM & F-WWIT) 2017-02, 2017-05 & 2017-06.
1 +1 ORDER A320-200 (CFM56-5B4/3), (ALE) LSD 2016-05.
23 A320-214 (CFM56-5B4/3) (1806, /02 N203FR, 2009-04 "MUSTANG SALLY" - - SEE PHOTO - - "FRO-A320-214-2009-05;" 2325, /04 N204FR, 2009-09 "BALD EAGLE FREEDOM" - - SEE PHOTO - - "FRO-A320-214 GOLDEN EAGLE 2009-10;" 2695, N223FR; 3389, /08 N901FR "CARIBOU YUKON;" 3431, /08 N202FR, "BIGHORN SHEEP COLORADO;" 4253, /10 N205FR, "OZZY THE ORCA*;" N904FR; N905FR; 4272, /10 N206FR "ALBERTA & CLIPPER#" 4307, /10 N207FR "BISON THUNDER#;" 4562, /11 N208FR "COUGAR CHARLIE+;" 4641, /11 N209FR "GOAT"+; 5526, N228FR "CARDINAL", 2015-02; 5581, N229FR "PEACHY THE FOX" - RED FOX TAIL; 5651, N220FR, 2013-06; 5661, /13 N220FR "SHARK" **; N223FR "FLAMINGO;" 6838, N232FR "SAMMY, THE SQUIRREL" 2015-11), N906FR; N907FR; N908FR; N909FR; N910FR; N911FR). * AERVENTURE LSD. **WITH SHARKLETS. # AVOLON LSD. + (AWW) LSD. 24PY, 138Y.
8 +11 ORDERS A321-211ceo (CFM56-5B3) (/15 (?) WITH OWL ON TAIL; 6845, /15 N704FR "VIRGINIA, THE WOLF" 2015-11; 7179, N710FR /16 "FALLON THE FALCON" 2016-06; 7184, /16 N711FR "POWDER THE POLAR BEAR" 2016-06; 7286, N713FR "MITCH THE WOLVERINE" 2016-09; 7524, N716FR "SEYMOUR THE WALRUS" 2017-01; 7736, N719FR "MIDNIGHT THE WOLF" 2017-06), AVOLON (AZV) LSD. 230Y.
34 ORDERS A321neo:
00 BOMBARDIER DASH 8-Q402 (4070, N503LX, 2007-10; 4168, N502LX, 2007-08; 4172, N504LX, 2007-10; 4174, N505LX, 2007-10; 4176, N506LX, 2007-10; 4181, N507LX, 2007-12; 4182, N508LX, 2007-12; 4184, N509LX, 2008-01; 4186, N510LX, 2008-01; 4265, N511LX, 2009-08), FOR ITS "LYNX AVIATION" NEW REGIONAL SUBSIDIARY. 11 RTND. 74Y.
0 E170 (0131, N868RW; 0133, N869RW; 0138, N870RW), 3 XFD SHUTTLE AMERICA 2009-11.
2 +24/24 ORDERS E190AR (CF34-10E6) (0188, N962UW; 0197, N964UW; N161HL - - SEE PHOTO - "FRO-EMB-190-2011-03"), RF (AMW)/(USA) 2009-12. 99Y.
40/40 ORDERS (2015-04) BOMBARDIER CS300 (PW1000G), 138Y.
Click below for photos:
FRO-1-Bill Franke 2018-01.jpg
FRO-1a-Barry Biffle - 2016-03.jpg
FRO-2-Michael Pewther - 2017-08.jpg
FRO-5-Jackie Peter - C-2017-10.jpg
WILLIAM FRANKE, CHAIRMAN & (CEO), THE INDIGO GROUP (INZ) & (FRO).
WILLIAM FRANKE, FOUNDER, MANAGING PARTNER EX-AMERICA WEST (AMW)/SPIRIT AIRLINES (SPR)/WIZZ AIR (WZZ)/VOLARIS (VLS)/JETSMART (JSM). ALSO CHAIRMAN, FRONTIER AIRLINES (FRO).
Bill Franke is the Managing Partner of Indigo Partners LLC, a private equity fund focused on air transportation investments. The fund currently has major investments in Volaris Airlines (VLS) (Mexico), Wizz Air (WZZ) (Hungary) and Frontier Airlines (FRO) (USA). During Bill’s business career he has been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a Fortune 500 forest products company, which he re-positioned strategically, tripled its revenues and achieved record profits, before merging it with another company at the industry’s highest per ton valuation; Chairman of the Executive Committee of a large regional bank whose management he restructured; (CEO) of a large USA convenience store company, which he restructured; and, from 1993 to August 2001, (CEO) of America West Airlines (AMW) (now American Airlines (AAL)), which he managed through a bankruptcy into an airline that from 1994 to 2000 had the highest (EBITDAR) margins of the major USA airlines and won 2 "J.D. Power" awards for its service. Bill was Managing Partner of Newbridge Latin America, a private equity fund focused on Latin America, which made investments in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina in a variety of businesses including retail, manufacturing and insurance. Newbridge was wound up in 2012 on sale of its last investment. Bill served as the founding Chairman of th Airplanes Group, Ltd., a US$5 billion aircraft finance vehicle created from the aircraft portfolio of the (GPA) Group plc, the Irish aircraft leasing company, and supported by (GE) Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) (GEC). He was involved in the 1998 acquisition of (GPA) (then renamed AerFi Group) by Texas Pacific Group and served on AerFi’s board of directors until it was sold in 2000. Also, along with an investment group led by David Bonderman, Bill was a pre-(IPO) investor in Ryanair (RYR) and a Founder of Hotwire, the travel internet site. Bill was the Founding Chairman of Tiger Airways (TGR) (Singapore), was the Chairman of Spirit Airlines (SPR) (USA), serves as Chairman of Wizz Air Limited (WZZ) (Hungary), is a director of Volaris (VLS) (Mexico), and is the Chairman of Frontier Airlines (FRO) (USA). In addition, he has served on several public company boards of directors in a variety of industries.
Bill was born in Texas and raised in Latin America. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford University and was awarded an honorary Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University, whose business college is named after him.
MICHAEL PEWTHER, SENIOR DIRECTOR.
BARRY BIFFLE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO) & PRESIDENT, EX-(SPR)/(VVC) (2015-03).
When Barry was made (CEO), he was also appointed to Frontier (FRO)’s board of Directors. Brian also retained the title of President, which he has held since July 2014. Brian and Frontier (FRO) Chairman, Bill Franke had been splitting the (CEO)’s responsibilities since David Siegel resigned as (CEO) in May 2015.
“Under Barry’s executive leadership, (FRO) has made significant progress in its operational, financial and customer service performance over the last year,” said William Franke, who is also the Managing Partner of Frontier (FRO) parent, Indigo Partners (INZ). “The board and I want to recognize the progress Barry has made in helping to build (FRO) Frontier into a successful ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC).”
Indigo (INZ) acquired Frontier (FRO) from Republic Airways Holdings in 2013 and directed (FRO) to transition to the (ULCC) model. Both Franke and Biffle had previously been involved with Florida-based Spirit Airlines (SPR), the 1st USA carrier to adopt the (ULCC) model.
Barry was a Spirit (SPR) Executive VP and, among a number of senior management roles in the airline business, also previously served as VivaColombia (VVC)’s (CEO).
Barry L Biffle joined Spirit Airlines (SPR) in February 2005 as Senior VP & Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). Barry has an extensive background in all areas of marketing and prior to joining (SPR), he served as Managing Director Marketing at US Airways (USA), where he was responsible for advertising, direct marketing, the frequent flier program and product. Additionally, Barry held other senior positions at (USA) in planning, marketing and sales. Prior to (USA), Barry held several management positions at American Eagle Airlines.
Barry holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Alabama.
BILL MEEHAN, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (COO).
WAYNE HELLER, EXECUTIVE VP, FRONTIER AIRLINES (FRO).
Wayne has >26 years experience in the regional airline industry. He joined Chautauqua in August 1999 as VP Flight Operations. In February of 2002 he became Executive VP & Chief Operating Officer and assumed responsibility for all Maintenance & Engineering. Before Chautauqua, he served as Managing Director of Systems Operations Control at Mesaba Holdings Inc, where he was instrumental in the Mesaba's phenomenal growth. Wayne has served in other senior management positions at Business Express Airlines Inc, Air Wisconsin Inc and Skywest Airlines Inc. He has his commercial pilot (FC) license and is a licensed dispatcher.
JAMES DEMPSEY, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO), EX-(RYR) (2014-05).
Jim brings >17 years of experience in aviation finance and most recently served as Treasurer for Ryanair (RYR).
LARS-ERIK ARNELL, SENIOR VP CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT
Lars-Eric joined Republic Airways Holdings Inc in September of 2002 as VP Corporate Development. Prior to joining the company, he held various financial positions in the transportation industry, including the regional airline, air medical transportation, truckload and global manufacturing industries. Lars-Erik has deep knowledge and experience from financial management, restructuring, business development and mergers and acquisitions.
Lars-Erik has held (CFO) positions in several large transportation companies including Burlington Motor Carriers Inc, a large international trucking company based in Indiana and Business Express Airlines Inc, a large regional airline based in NE USA. Most recently, Lars-Erik was employed as the financial advisor to the Board of Directors of Rocky Mountain Helicopters Inc, the largest helicopter air medical transportation company in the USA.
Lars-Erik also has received invaluable global experience from his employment with (ABB) and SAAB, where he held various financial management positions in Sweden, England and in the USA. Lars-Erik holds a Bachelor Degree in Finance from Linkoping University combined with an 18 month Management Trainee Program within SAAB.
HOWARD DIAMOND, SENIOR VP, GENERAL COUNSEL & SECRETARY (2014-07).
Howard held a similar position with Thales (THL) USA and (BAE) Systems and brings with him a wealth of legal and industry experience.
DANIEL SHURZ, SENIOR VP COMMERCIAL & CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER (CCO).
DREW SKAFF, VP SUPPLY CHAIN, REPUBLIC AIRWAYS HOLDINGS, EX-(FRO)/(CQA)/(AMW) (2010-01).
As Supply Chain VP, Drew directs purchasing, material control, repair and warranty, spare parts inventory management, fuel administration, and additional Supply Chain functions across the Republic Airways enterprise. Dew joined Frontier Airlines (FRO) in August of 2000 as Director Purchasing. Drew has >19 years of industry experience and previous to his leadership position at (FRO) he supported AirTran Airways (CQT) as Director Purchasing and worked at America West Airlines (AMW). He has been published numerous times in several industry and Supply Chain periodicals. He earned an MBA from the Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College in 2000 and Bachelor of Science of Finance from Arizona State University.
DON OSMUNDSON, VP FLIGHT OPERATIONS, EX-(FRO)/CAL)/(COI) (2009-12).
Don, who has been with Republic since 2009, has >30 years of experience in the airline industry. He began his aviation career as a pilot (FC) with Frontier Airlines (FRO) and has held Vice President positions at Continental Airlines (CAL), Comair (COI) and DayJet. Don is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and earned a master’s degree in Business at the University of Phoenix.
GARY APPLING, VP TECHNICAL OPERATIONS, EX-(CAL)/(ABX) (2015-08).
Gary began his career with the US Air Force (USF) as a jet engine technician and a customer service agent. He has held various positions in many areas of technical operation with various aviation companies, including the Mesa Air Group, Continental Airlines (CAL) and Airborne Express (ABX).
JAN FOGELBERG, VP CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, REPUBLIC AIRWAYS HOLDINGS, EX-(FRO) (2010-04).
AARON WORKMAN, VP INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) REPUBLIC AIRWAYS HOLDING (2010-04).
Aaron joined Chautauqua Airlines in 1979 and has over seen the Information Technology (IT) department for the past 12 years. During his airline career, Aaron has held management responsibilities, including Customer Service Manager Florida, Sales Manager & Manager of Inventory Control, and Director of Information Technology.
JOE ALLMAN, VP & CONTROLLER
Joe joined Republic Airways in July of 2007 as Director Finance. In June of 2009, he was promoted to the position of VP and Controller.
Before joining the Company, Joe, who is a certified public accountant (CPA), gained extensive experience applying his finance, accounting and audit expertise to the airline and utilities sectors at managing positions with London Witte Group LLC and Deloitte and Touche LLP.
Joe is a graduate of the US Coast Guard Academy, where he earned a B.S. in Management and subsequently achieved the rank of Lieutenant.
Joe resides in Indianapolis with his wife and three children.
MS DEBORAH PRICE, VP CUSTOMER SERVICE (2014-10).
JEFF DOMRESE, VP MAINTENANCE & TECHNICAL OPERATIONS (2006-09).
Jeff joined Chautauqua Airlines one of Republic Airways Holdings’ in September of 2000 as Director Maintenance. He was promoted to VP Maintenance & Technical Operations for the company’s three wholly owned subsidiaries in September 2006. In his position, he is responsible for the oversight and management of the maintenance organizations of the company’s three operating subsidiaries. Before joining Chautauqua, Jeff held Director Maintenance positions at several regional airlines including Aspen Mountain Air and Merlin Express as well as managerial positions with PSA Airlines, Transtates Airlines and Wings West/American Eagle. Jerry is a US Air Force veteran serving as airplane maintenance crew chief from 1984 - 1988.
Jeff lives in Avon, Indiana with his wife and 2 children.
THOMAS DUFFY, VP TECHNICAL SERVICES, EX-(MID)/(BNF) (2006-09).
Tom has >27 years experience in the airline industry and is licensed Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Mechanic (MT). He joined Chautauqua Airlines in March of 2002 as Director Quality Assurance (QA) & Engineering. He was promoted to VP Technical Services for Republic Airways Holdings in September of 2006. Prior to joining Chautauqua Airlines, Tom held senior management positions at several companies including Midway Airlines, Braniff Airlines and most recently Flight Options Inc.
SCOTT DURGIN, VP STRATEGIC ALLIANCES (2005-05).
Scott has >27 years experience in the regional airline industry. He joined Republic Airways Holdings in May of 2005 as the company’s VP Strategic Alliances. Prior to joining Republic, he served as President & Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Shuttle America Corporation a regional airline headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Scott served as VP Customer Service for Mesaba Holdings, Inc the parent company of Mesaba Airlines from 1996 to 2001. Scott has held various other senior management positions at Business Express Airlines, Express Airlines I Inc and Pilgrim Airlines.
Scott holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of New Haven in New Haven, CT and has completed the Minnesota Executive Program from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. He resides in Carmel, Indiana with his wife Laurie and their 2 children.
BRAD ELSTAD, VP SAFETY & REGULATORY COMPLIANCE (2007-10).
Brad is responsible for the administration of Republic Airways Holdings’ Safety Department at its corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Brad has spent nearly 20 years in the aviation industry, serving in various operational or safety and regulatory compliance positions with Part 121 airlines.
He was appointed to his current position with Republic Airways Holdings in October of 2007. From 1995 through 2007, he held positions at US Airways wholly-owned subsidiary, PSA Airlines’ initially within the airline’s System Operations Control (SOC), and concluding with his 7-year tenure as the Company’s Director Safety & Regulatory Compliance. He has also instructed graduate-level aviation coursework at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Dayton-area campus in Ohio.
Brad holds a commercial, multi-engine pilot license and is also a certificated aircraft dispatcher. He received his Bachelors Degree from St Cloud State University and his Masters Degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
MS JACKIE PETER, HENSON, VP LABOR RELATIONS (2007-03).
JEFF JONES, VP MARKET PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT, EX-(NWA) (2000-01).
Jeff has worked >30 years in the airline industry. He joined Chautauqua Airlines in January of 2000 as the company’s VP Market Planning & Development. He has retained this position as the company has grown from having a single code share marketing relationship, to Republic’s current conglomeration of airline operating certificates and marketing relationships. Jeff is the primary flight scheduling and planning liaison between Republic and its marketing partners on the Fixed-fee side of the business. Prior to joining the company, he was Director Market Planning for Mesaba Holdings, Inc, and held several management positions with Northwest Airlines (NWA), the earlier Republic, and North Central Airlines in planning, scheduling and marketing.
Jeff received his MBA from the University of St Thomas, and a B.A. degree from Minnesota State University majoring in Economics & International Relations. He is a frequent speaker at industry events, and enjoys a blessed life with his wife, and their children and grandchildren.
PAUL KINSTEDT, VP SYSTEMS OPERATIONS CONTROL, EX-(MID) (2006-09).
Paul joined Chautauqua Airlines 1 of Republic Airways Holdings’ subsidiaries in January 2002 as Director of Systems Operations Control. He was promoted to VP System Operations Control for the company’s 3 wholly owned subsidiaries in September 2006. In his position, Paul is responsible for development and implementation of all Dispatch and Crew Scheduling Systems and procedures including computer systems and communication systems for all 3 airline subsidiaries. Before joining Chautauqua, Paul was VP Customer Service and Director Flight Control for Midway Airlines (MID).
Paul received his Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Science from Parks College of Saint Louis University in St Louis Missouri and his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Illinois Benedictine College. He holds an aircraft dispatcher and commercial, multi-engine and instrument pilot rating.
Paul resides in Westfield, Indiana with his wife and 2 children.
JOSH FLYR, VP NETWORK & REVENUE (2017-03).
Josh joined Frontier Airlines in 2011 as Director Planning.
DOUG DIEHL, DIRECTOR OF SAFETY.
CHRIS MAGULSKI, GENERAL MANAGER CORPORATE SALES.