Frontier Airlines Eyes Network Expansion Despite Industry Crisis

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While the ongoing pandemic has decimated most airlines’ networks, and they are just beginning to flesh out the bare-bones schedule of the past few months, ultra-low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines is gearing up for expansion. It even hopes to challenge American Airlines at two of its hubs.

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Low-cost giant Frontier is expanding its network amidst the ongoing crisis. Photo: Getty Images

Bucking the general trend of downsizing, Frontier Airlines is not only adding several new routes to domestic leisure destinations for its summer schedule. It is also betting on new services between major US airports.

Philly to Boston, Chicago, and Phoenix

As reported by Anna.aero, Frontier is to commence three new routes from Philadelphia to Boston, Chicago O’Hare, and Phoenix. The first two will commence on July 2nd with four weekly services, which are to be increased to daily come May 2021. The latter will start on November 12th with a daily flight right out of the gate.

Come November, the Philadelphia to Phoenix route will be Frontier’s longest from the airport, measuring 3,340 kilometers. It will also be in direct nonstop competition with American Airlines between two of the carrier’s hubs.

Southwest also flies directly on the route, but hopefully, by then, demand will have bounced back enough for load-factors to go around.

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Frontier Airlines will increase its presence at some major US airports. Photo: Getty Images

New summer routes to Florida

In an announcement made at the beginning of the week, Frontier Airlines also said it was adding new routes to its summer 2020 schedule.

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“We’re pleased to announce 18 new routes and demonstrate our commitment to providing low fares to great destinations for our customers as the country reopens,” said Daniel Shurz, senior vice president of commercial for Frontier Airlines in a statement seen by Simple Flying.

“We anticipate these new routes to a variety of popular vacation destinations will be in high demand as family and friends seek affordable domestic summer travel options,” Shurz continued.

The carrier will begin operating the first new route on the schedule on Saturday, flying once a week from Cleveland Hopkins International Aiport (CLE) to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) in Florida.

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Come July, a whole bunch of new flights is planned. Frontier will fly to several destinations in Florida from Chicago O’Hare, LAX, Long Island McArthur, Newark, Dallas-Fort Worth, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Boston.

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Frontier is adding 18 new routes to its summer 2020 schedule. Photo: Frontier Airlines

Uptick in summer demand

“Frontier has been at the forefront in implementing numerous measures to support passenger well-being in-flight and we are seeing a strong uptick in summer travel demand,” Schurz commented on the very same day that Frontier began temperature screening every one of its passengers.

Will these temperature screenings be enough to make passengers feel safe enough to travel? Just today, reports came in on how passengers on a Qatar Airways flight to Athens tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival, despite having been subjected to temperature screening by the airline prior to departure.

The positive tests caused everybody on the flight to be quarantined, a prospect that may dampen the enthusiasm of even the most ambitious holiday planner. But perhaps instances like this will not reach the US news cycle, and with no mandatory testing post-travel within the country, domestic summer tourism may still take off.

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