MIAMI — On Monday (February 24), Frontier Airlines will announce new nonstop flights to four cities from Denver. This announcement comes about a week after it announced plans to expand in St. Louis.
Although Frontier has only hinted that it will begin service to four new destinations from Denver, the new flights were loaded into its reservation system over the weekend.
The company will begin new service between Denver and Bakersfield starting May 16 three times a week. For Bakersfield, this is a major welcome. The city has been trying to gain more local passenger service for several years. According to the Bakersfield Californian, the passenger emplanements have been:
2006 – 173,737
2009 – 104,073
2011 – 127,863
2012 – 135,421
2013 – 135,484
The company will begin new service to Sioux City on June 12 three times weekly.
Lastly, the company will begin new service to Missoula four times weekly, and it will also begin service to Idaho Falls three times weekly. Both of these new routes will start on June 13.
These markets signal a different kind of ULCC strategy for the airline then Spirit Airlines, whose business model Frontier is being thought to eliminate, or Allegiant for that matter. Being now #3 in the Denver market, Frontier is zigging while #1 United and #2 Spirit zag. These new destinations are smaller cities where Frontier has competition, in some cases with United, not the typically larger high-cost markets where Spirit is a disruptor or smaller non-competitive, leisure markets that Allegiant flies.