Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines

Infobox Airline
airline = Frontier Airlines

image_size = 225
founded = 1994
commenced =
ceased =
hubs = Denver International Airport
secondary_hubs =
focus_cities =
frequent_flyer = EarlyReturns
lounge =
alliance =
subsidiaries =
fleet_size = 60
destinations = 58
parent = Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc.
company_slogan = "A Whole Different Animal"
headquarters = Denver, Colorado
key_people = Sean Menke
(President and CEO)
D. Dale Browning (Chairman)
website = []

Frontier Airlines, Inc. is a low-cost airline based at Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado, USA. The carrier operates flights throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada.cite news |title=Directory: World Airlines |work=Flight International |page=85 |date=2007-04-03] Frontier is a major low-cost airline with two thirds of its US destinations west of the Mississippi River. The carrier maintains its sole hub at Denver International Airport, and provides regional service to the surrounding Rocky Mountain States through a code-share agreement with Great Lakes Airlines. Frontier is not a member of any of the major air carrier alliances.

In March 2007, Republic Airlines slowly began replacing Horizon Air as the operator of their feeder service, Frontier Airlines operated by Republic Airlines; Frontier JetExpress, which was operated by Horizon Air, ceased operations on November 30, 2007. In April 2008, Frontier and Republic terminated their agreement and Republic withdrew its aircraft from Frontier service on June 23, 2008.cite news |title=Republic Airways wants $260M after Frontier cancels contract |url= |work=Denver Business Journal |first=Noelle |last=Leavitt |date=2008-04-23 |accessdate=2008-04-23]

On April 10, 2008, Frontier announced that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to its credit card processor, First Data, attempting to withhold significant proceeds from ticket sales. First Data suddenly decided that it would withhold 100% of the carrier's proceeds from ticket sales beginning May 1.cite news |last=Leavitt |first=Noelle |coauthors=McGaw, Renee |title=First Data offers regrets about Frontier Airlines |publisher=Denver Business Journal |date=2008-04-11 |url= |accessdate=2008-04-10] According to Frontier's press release, "This change in practice would have represented a material change to our cash forecasts and business plan. Unchecked, it would have put severe restraints on Frontier's liquidity..." Its operation continues uninterrupted, though, as Chapter 11 bankruptcy protects the corporation's assets and allows restructuring to ensure long-term viability.


Frontier Airlines was founded in 1994 by a group that included executives of a previous incarnation of Frontier Airlines. [ [ Our History - Frontier Airlines] ] Scheduled flights began in 1994 utilizing Boeing 737 aircraft. Like the original, Frontier flies out of Denver and competes with United Airlines, its subsidiary Ted, and Southwest Airlines. In the late 1990s, Frontier began purchasing Airbus aircraft and offering DirecTV in-flight television on its new aircraft. Frontier Airlines was the launch customer [ [ A318 is certificated as newest and smallest Airbus aircraft] ] of the Airbus A318 in 2003. In mid-April 2005, Frontier officially became an all-Airbus fleet, retiring its last 737.

As part of its plan to stay competitive the company underwent a reorganization early in 2006. On April 3, 2006 Frontier created Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc. (FRNT), a holding company incorporated in Delaware to take advantage of favorable tax laws in that state. The corporate headquarters did not leave Colorado. [cite news |title=Frontier Airlines Fact Sheet |work=Frontier Airlines |accessdate=2006-11-01 |url=;jsessionid=4d84da87d4b75a829dad1ef9f5]

In November 2006, Frontier Airlines partnered with AirTran Airways, allowing frequent fliers to earn airline miles in its EarlyReturns frequent flyer program, or AirTran's A+ frequent flyer program. In addition, the airlines refer customers to each other when appropriate.

On January 24, 2007, Frontier was designated as a major carrier by the United States Department of Transportation. [ cite web |url= |title=Frontier Airlines is a Major Carrier]

On April 10, 2008 Frontier Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

On July 25, 2008 Frontier Airlines announced it has received a $75 million commitment in post-petition debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from Perseus LLC, a private investment firm based in Washington, D.C. with offices in Evergreen, Colorado, New Yorkand Munich. Perseus has also agreed to serve as equity sponsor for Frontier's plan of reorganization, allowing Perseus to purchase 79.9% of the equity in the reorganized company for $100 million. The DIP facility and plan sponsorship are subject to bankruptcy court approval and to various conditions.

Maintenance awards

Frontier has been awarded the FAA Diamond award for nine years straight, from 1999 through 2008. The Diamond award recognizes carriers whose mechanics and maintenance staff complete additional training and certifications beyond that required for normal FAA certification. In order to receive this award, a minimum of 25 percent of an airline's mechanics and maintenance staff must complete this additional training. Frontier is the only airline to have consecutively received this award for the last seven years, as well as the only airline to ever receive this award with 100% participation from its maintenance staff. Frontier's staff has maintained 100% participation for the last seven consecutive years during which it has earned this award. [ Frontier Airlines Fleet Information] ]

Route structure

Unlike some low-cost carriers, Frontier operates a hub and spoke route system, with more than 90% of flights originating or arriving at its Denver hub. While the hub system can move people efficiently, it is also dependent on critical coordination at a single point. Hub-and-spoke systems like Frontier's, however, can simplify passenger connections. Long-distance itineraries between Frontier cities generally require no more than one connection (usually in Denver), whereas a linear carrier may require multiple connections to span a long distance. Hub-and-spoke systems can also simplify maintenance, as all aircraft transit a hub frequently.

The vast majority of Frontier flights operate through its hub in Denver. Frontier's Denver operations utilize the majority of gates on Concourse A; the airline operates out of 24 of Concourse A's 37 gates. Frontier did attempt to establish a focus city at Los Angeles International Airport during 2004, but retreated under heavy competition and the sudden spike in fuel prices at the time. In June 2006, Frontier returned to the California market with five daily nonstop flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as daily non-stop service linking San Francisco to Las Vegas. However, these routes were short-lived and eventually discontinued in July 2007. Internationally, the airline does offer a number of routes to Mexican destinations that do not begin or end at Denver.

Frontier has deferred expansion in the competitive East Coast cities such as Boston and Pittsburgh, but otherwise is expanding outside the US in Mexico and Canada. The airline recently dropped seasonal service to Calgary with Frontier JetExpress, but continues mainline service to Vancouver, BC The carrier serves three Florida tourist destinations and the business essential cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC along the East Coast, and has recently commenced new non-stop service between Denver and Hartford, CT. The remaining Eastern interior city destinations are in the Midwest along with Atlanta, Memphis, and Nashville in the South. Contrary to Southwest Airlines, Frontier uses only one alternative airport in the East with the Akron-Canton Regional Airport, which services the Cleveland and Pittsburgh markets. On May 22, 2007, the airline announced its schedule for service to its fourth country, Costa Rica. Frontier began operating to San José four times per week from its hub in Denver on November 30, 2007. This marks Frontier's first entry into Central America. Early 2008, frequency was increased to five times per week and will become seasonal, not operating from mid-September until mid-December.

On June 25, 2008, Frontier announced it would be cutting 21 of its daily departures, effective late August. Some routes are eliminated, some are temporarily halted until spring, and some are reduced in frequency. [ [ Frontier to slash 17% of its flights - The Denver Post ] ]

Regional Carrier

Lynx Aviation

On September 6, 2006, Frontier announced that a new division of the holding company known as Lynx Aviation, would operate 10 Bombardier Q400 aircraft beginning in May 2007.cite news |last=Yamanouchi |first=Kelly |title=Frontier thinking small to go bigger |work=Denver Post |date=2006-09-06 |accessdate=2006-09-07 |url=] On December 5, 2007, Lynx Aviation received its operating certificate from the FAA. Lynx began passenger operations on the morning of December 7, 2007.Since commencing service, Lynx Aviation has added service to 13 regional destinations such as Rapid City, Colorado Springs, Oklahoma City, and Jackson Hole - "Seasonal Service".

Former Regional Carrier

Frontier JetExpress

In February 2002, the airline launched its first "express" product, Frontier JetExpress, initially operated by Mesa Airlines using CRJ-200 regional jets. Similar to "express" operations of other carriers, Frontier JetExpress is targeted for markets to and from Denver that do not generate traffic sufficient to support Frontier's smallest mainline jet, the Airbus A318, but can still offer lucrative business with a smaller jet.

The initial JetExpress partnership with Mesa ended in January 2004, when Horizon Air was selected to operate the routes. Horizon utilized slightly larger CRJ-700 aircraft on these routes. In August 2006, Frontier and Horizon announced that their partnership would end [ [ Frontier JetExpress ends] ] . While Frontier was generally pleased with Horizon's operation, the carrier decided that it needed to revisit the agreement and find a provider with additional regional jets to grow the operation. The last of the CRJ-700's was returned to the Horizon Air fleet on November 30, 2007.

On January 11, 2007, Frontier Airlines announced it had signed an 11-year service agreement with Republic Airlines. Under the agreement, Republic was to operate 17, 76-seat Embraer 170 aircraft for the former Frontier JetExpress operations. At the time the contract was cancelled in April 2008, Republic Airlines operated 11 aircraft for Frontier Airlines, with the remaining 6 aircraft expected to join the fleet by December 2008. With the integration of Republic aircraft, the 'JetExpress' denotation was removed. Subsequent to the cessation of Horizon's services for Frontier in December 2007, all flights operated by Republic were sold and marketed as "Frontier Airlines, operated by Republic Airlines." The first market created specifically for the Embraer 170 was Louisville, KY, which began on April 1, 2007; Frontier Airlines has since announced that all service to Louisville will end in August 2008.

Flights operated by Republic Airlines offered in-flight snack and beverage services similar to Frontier's mainline flights. Unlike Frontier's aircraft and due to the nature of contracting with regional carriers, these aircraft were not fitted with LiveTV.


Frontier Airlines currently flies to 58 destinations throughout Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States. Upcoming schedule changes will increase the Fronier's destination count to 59 when the airline's subsidiary, Lynx Aviation begins seasonal service to Hayden/Steamboat Springs, Colorado on December 18, 2008.

New Service

*Seasonal daily nonstop service between Hayden/Steamboat Springs, CO (HDN) and Denver, CO (DEN) begins December 18, 2008 [ [ Frontier Airlines Expands its Rocky Mountain Reach] ] :Note: Service will be operated by Lynx Aviation

Mexico service

Prior to 2008, Frontier Airlines offered extensive service to Mexican resort cities. Even with the airline's recent discontinuation of several point-to-point routes in Mexico, Frontier still maintains a substantial presence in Mexico. From Denver, Frontier flies to Cabo San Lucas, Cancún, Cozumel, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta.

At one time, Frontier maintained two focus cities in Mexico; one at Cabo San Lucas' Los Cabos International Airport, and the other at Cancún's Cancún International Airport. As of June 2008, Frontier offers point-to-point nonstop service from Cancún to Kansas City and Salt Lake City, in addition to the airline's Denver hub. In cooperation with Apple Vacations, Frontier offers non-stop, weekend-only charter service between Chicago's Midway Airport and Cancún, and Saturday-only service between Denver and Huatulco, Mexico. In cooperation with MLT Worry Free Vacations, Frontier also offers non-stop twice weekly scheduled charter service between both Dallas/Ft Worth and Denver to Cancún.

At its peak, Frontier served 21 routes between 12 U.S. gateways and 8 destinations in Mexico (excluding Apple Vacations Charters). The expansion included routes from California, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin to Mexico.

In recent months, Frontier has decided to terminate its Mexican point-to-point service, and by June 2008, will be left with only 8 routes between 3 U.S. gateways and 5 destinations in Mexico (excluding Apple Vacations Charters).

Codeshare agreements

Frontier Airlines has a codeshare agreement with the following airline:

* Great Lakes Airlines: Connecting flights through Denver International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to 39 cities in 9 states.


As of September 2008, the Frontier Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft: [ [ Frontier Airlines Fleet Detail] ]

As of September 2008, Frontier's average fleet age was 4.1 years. [ [ Frontier Airlines Fleet Age] ]


The Frontier Airlines livery consists of an all-white fuselage with silver billboard-style "Frontier" titles on the sides of the aircraft. Frontier uses wildlife photography on the vertical stabilizers and winglets of the aircraft to produce a distinctive look, touted in their advertisements along with their slogan: "A Whole Different Animal".

The concepts used in the livery extend into Frontier’s marketing as well. Animal aircraft used in their radio and television commercials include Jack the rabbit, Grizwald the bear, Foxy the fox (for whom Jack has a crush), Flip the dolphin (who always gets stuck going to Chicago rather than the warmer climates the others are going to), Larry the lynx, Hector the sea otter, and Sal the cougar. New additions are Penguins Jim, Joe, Jay, and Gary, a barbershop-style quartet, singing the praises of EarlyReturns to an audience of Frontier’s well-known characters from the "a whole different animal" campaign, and Hector the otter, advertising Frontier's expanded service to Mexico.

Tail art and names

Each animal on the tail of a Frontier Airlines Airbus and Lynx Aviation Q400 has a name, the most famous being "Larry the Lynx," "Grizwald the Bear," "Jack the Rabbit", "Flip the Dolphin", "Hector the Sea Otter", and "Jim, Joe, Jay, and Gary the Penguins" for being heavily featured in Frontier advertising. When Frontier was promoting its then-new Mexico service, the airline launched its "Send Flip to Mexico" campaign, and Frontier's "Denver's Favorite Animal" campaign continues to shine attention upon their popular tails.

The names of all the tails are:

Airbus A318

* N801FR-Grizzly Bear "Grizwald"
* N802FR-Elk "Montana"
* N803FR-Rabbit "Stu"
* N804FR-Kit Fox Cubs "Mo & Jo"
* N805FR-Great Gray Owl "Ollie"
* N806FR-Bison "Humphrey"
* N807FR-Cougar "Charlie"
* N808FR-Fawn "Clover"
* N809FR-Porcupine "Spike"
* N810FR-Green Sea Turtle "Sheldon"
* N812FR-Grizzly Bear "Benny"

Airbus A319

* N901FR-Wolf "Wally" Removed from fleet in 2008
* N902FR-Wood Duck "Woody"
* N903FR-Orca Whale "Ozzy" Removed from fleet in 2008
* N904FR-Swan "Grace"
* N905FR-Seal "Sherman"
* N906FR-Pronghorn "Andy"
* N907FR-Mule Deer "Mel" To be removed from fleet in 2008
* N908FR-Heron "Holly"
* N909FR-Canadian Goose "Lucy" Removed from fleet in 2008
* N910FR-Mountain Lion "Sal"
* N912FR-Red Fox "Trixie"
* N913FR-Hummingbird "Hamilton" To be removed from fleet in 2008
* N914FR-Egret "Stretch"
* N915FR-Mustang "Sally" To be removed from fleet in 2008
* N916FR-Mallard Duck "O'Malley" To be removed from fleet in 2008
* N917FR-Snowy Owl "Doc" Removed from fleet in 2008
* N918FR-Whitetail Deer "Jake"
* N919FR-Ocelot "Lance"
* N920FR-Coyote "Carl"
* N921FR-Mountain Goat "Fritz"
* N922FR-Red Fox "Foxy"
* N923FR-Raccoon "Rudy"
* N924FR-Polar Bear Cubs "Klondike & Snow"
* N925FR-Dall's Sheep "Dale"
* N926FR-Fawn "Domino"
* N927FR-Bottlenose Dolphin "Flip"
* N928FR-Bobcat "Hank"
* N929FR-Lynx "Larry"
* N930FR-Cougar w/ Cub "Lola & Max"
* N931FR-Black Bear Cub "Jo-Jo"
* N932FR-Bald Eagle "Sarge"
* N933FR-Hawk "Sebastian"
* N934FR-Baby Lynx "L.J."
* N935FR-Sea Otter "Hector"
* N936FR-Walrus "Earl"
* N937FR-Blue Crowned Conure "Carmen"
* N938FR-Arctic Fox "Misty"
* N939FR-Emperor Penguins "Jim, Joe, Jay, & Gary"
* N940FR-Snowshoe Hare "Jack"
* N941FR-Grey Wolf "Lobo"
* N942FR-Ram "Stan"
* N943FR-Deer Fawn "Cloe"
* N944FR-Polar Bear w/ Cub "Alberta & Clipper"
* N945FR-Bull Moose "Chocolate"
* N946FR-Horned Puffin "Perry"
* N947FR-Jaguar "Maya"
* N948FR-Pelican "Pete"
* N949FR-White Ermine "Erma"
* N950FR-Bottlenose Dolphin "Bob"

Airbus A320

* N201FR-Caribou "Yukon"
* N202FR-Bighorn Sheep "Colorado"

Bombardier Q400

Operated by Lynx Aviation for Frontier Airlines.
* N501LX-Baby Lynx "Luke"
* N502LX-Wolf Pup "Wolfgang"
* N503LX-Mountain Lion "Aspen"
* N504LX-Moose "Mickey"
* N505LX-Baby Red Fox "Ginger"
* N506LX-Baby Raccoon "Bandit"
* N507LX-Harp Seal "Seymour"
* N508LX-Toucan "Tango"
* N509LX-Moose "Floyd"
* N510LX-Bobcat "Leonard"


Frontier offers a single class of service. While Frontier does market itself as a low-cost carrier, it differentiates itself in the market by offering LiveTV, an in-seat satellite television service, for $3.99 or $5.99 on all domestic flights, and in-seat movies for eight dollars. LiveTV service is complimentary on all international flights south of the U.S. border, as well as on all flights to/from Anchorage, Alaska (ANC). With the addition of aircraft to the fleet in June 2007, Frontier has begun a transition to incorporate an all-leather seat interior and the addition of four more seats in each aircraft. Along with the seat replacement project, Frontier is also adding in-flight text messaging and e-mail on all Airbus flights. [ [ Frontier will add seats to planes, offer e-mail - The Denver Post ] ]

Beginning April 28, 2008, Frontier began offering Grizwald's Gourmet Cafe. [ [http:// Inflight Catering] ] This service provides passengers with a variety of snack options available for purchase for $3.00. They include cranberry trail mix, nacho cheese chips, granola, and mixed nuts. LiveTV now costs $5.99 on all flights. Movies have maintained their cost of $8.00. On July 1, 2008, the cost for beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages increased to $6.00.

Frontier was one of the first carriers to offer a virtual "mall" or the Frontier More Store, allowing passengers to spend accrued miles on merchandise and unique services.fact|date=July 2008 As of May 30, 2008, Frontier Airlines discontinued the "More Store" [ [ Frontier Airlines More Store] ] due to the filing of Chapter 11 protection on April 11, 2008


EarlyReturns is Frontier Airlines frequent flier program. It is a mileage-based program that contains three levels. Upon enrolling, members start at the first level, Base, and accrue miles commensurate with actual air miles traveled on Frontier or partner airline AirTran. Once a member accumulates 15,000 miles in a calendar year, they reach the Ascent level and receive free DIRECTV service, priority boarding and ticketing, priority seat assignments, a 25% mileage bonus in addition to miles accrued, and other perks. The third level, Summit, is awarded for the accrual of 25,000 miles in a calendar year and adds a 50% mileage bonus in addition to miles accrued on each flight. Besides receiving the same benefits as Ascent members, Summit members also receive complimentary alcoholic beverages. [ As of January 30, 2008, Summit elite members also receive a one-year complimentary membership to the Clear Registered Traveler Program. [ Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns Tier Levels] ] Free round trip tickets between all destinations in the contiguous U.S. as well as between the U.S. and Canada require 20,000 miles, and round trip award tickets to and from Anchorage, Alaska and all Mexican destinations require 30,000 miles, Costa Rica requires 40,000 miles. [ [ Frontier Airlines mileage redemption] ]



External links

* [ Frontier Airlines]
* [ Wild Blue Yonder inflight magazine]
* [ Frontier Airlines Fleet Photos and Tail Closeups]

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