Frontier Airlines Doubling Its Size

Frontier Airlines the deep-discount carrier will double its size.

The airline announced on Tuesday that it would add 21 more cities and 85 routes to its network. Before the 2018 summer, Frontier will be operating 314 non-stop flights, which is double the number it flies currently.

The new flights will give the airline the ability to serve more of the U.S. and make flying a truly affordable option, Barry Biffle the CEO said on Tuesday.

Sunny destinations such as Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers and Cancun will receive expanded services and in Denver, its base, there will be 19 new destinations.

With the expansion, Frontier said it would serve over 90% of the continental U.S. population. Over the past decade, the air carrier has gone from being a bankrupt carrier to a quickly expanding, low cost carrier under its new management.

The airline, based in Denver, filed in March for an initial public offering and was eager to show growth potential to its investors.

The amount of passengers Frontier flew grew by over 15% in 2016 and its fleet was fuller than any other carrier, showed stats released by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

It is an aggressive expansion that is aimed at the established carriers such as United Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

The new routes for Frontier will make it the carrier with the second largest number of destinations from cities such as Orlando, trailing just Southwest.

The growth by Frontier however steers clear for the most part from territory that is dominated by Spirit Airlines the ultra-low cost carrier.

Frontier’s expansion will also require many new airplanes. The carrier had 55 more aircraft that are single-aisle on order from Europe based Airbus.

Carriers in the U.S. have are now in a competitive growth stage after over 10 years of restructuring and consolidation.

Low-cost carriers such as Frontier and Spirit, who offer tickets with no assigned seating, baggage that is checked or carry-ons, in certain cases, have introduced new discount fare competition into cities throughout the U.S.

That forced the largest carriers to offer fares called basic economy that are similar as the strip out extras that were once included.

While air carriers such as Delta and American show higher revenue from each passenger, in part due to fare increases, carriers such as Frontier is the big force pushing in the opposite direction.