MIAMI – Frontier Airlines (F9) has announced that it will stop serving Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in September 2021. Although LAX is a key player in the Southern California area, F9 is shifting its focus to other southern California airports.

Frontier has been busy adding new cities since the rebound in travel demands after COVID-19. F9 recently added Nassau, Saint Martin, and San Jose, Costa Rica from Miami. F9 will also be adding two international destinations from Orlando (MCO), and one from Dallas (DFW). Domestic services will increase as well, F9 will be adding service to Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR) starting this summer.

The west coast has not been left out of F9s expansion, however. On July 15, Frontier will begin service to Burbank (BUR) with three daily nonstops to Phoenix (PHX), Las Vegas (LAS), and Denver (DEN). Along with BUR, F9 adds flights out of Ontario (ONT). New service will start on July 16 to Atlanta (ATL), and F9 will increase service to Denver on July 15 with eleven weekly flights.

A-1, 4-10-97, Aerial/LAX/Theme/Tower, Ref.#40208, 3/4, #34. Photo: Jay Berkowitz, LAWA.

Goodbye LAX

Frontier will continue flying to DEN from LAX three times a week through September, but other services will end a bit sooner. F9 will move it’s PHX, and LAS flights to BUR on July 15. In addition, service to ATL will be discontinued from LAX, and BUR will become the new city served on this route to southern California.

Since the beginning of the current Frontier Airlines in 1994, LAX has been a key player in F9s network. With new ULLC carrier’s making their presence known in LAX recently, such as Allegaint (G4), Sun Country (SY), and Spirit (NK), the market has become a bit crowded, and F9 has decided to throw in the towel at LAX.

The cost of operations into LAX has become a large factor also. LAX is undergoing construction, and the new facilities will bring the added cost to all airlines operating into the airport. F9 was offered US$177,600 in rental credits from the airport to move from Terminal 5 to Terminal 1.5.

This terminal has no gates, and passengers are bused to a satellite concourse after they have been screened by the TSA. These circumstances, along with increased competition, have F9 looking at alternatives.

Burbank California (Bob Hope Airport). Photo: Loco Steve from Bromley , UK, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Burbank Attacts ULCCs

Avelo Airlines (XP), a new comer on the ULCC scene is attempting to establish a foot hold in the southern California market with flights out of BUR. XP started flights out of BUR on April 28, 2021 with plans to serve 11 western US cities initially. Perhaps this is why F9 has set it’s sights on this new destination.

With both carriers operating with similar business models, such as charging for food, and drinks on board, charging for carry-on luggage, and seat assignments, it will be interesting to see how each carrier responds as the demand for air travel continues to rise.

Frontier Airlines is based in Denver, Colorado, and operates flights to over 100 cities in the United States, as well as over 30 international destinations. The current airline started operations in 1994 operating Boeing 737-200 aircraft. In 1999, F9 began purchasing, and leasing Airbus A318, and A319 aircraft. In 2005, F9 became an all-Airbus airline, retiring its last Boeing 737.

Featured image: Frontier Airlines Airbus A320NEO N356FR – Photo : Otto Kirchof/Airways