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Frontier Achieves Major Carrier Status  
User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2901 posts, RR: 6
Posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5347 times:
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Got an interesting e-mail this morning from Frontier, pushing their latest fare sale. It said that Frontier had achieved major status. Excerpt below:

"It's taken a dozen years... but we've finally made it. Frontier Airlines has been designated a Major Airline by the Department of Transportation."

So, congrats to Frontier for joining the big boys. Question to those who might know: I wasn't able to find anything about an official announcement from the DOT or FAA on this... anyone know where the definitive list of DOT-designated major airlines might exist on the Web?

49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGoDIA From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5346 times:

Way to go, F9!! TThey're already "Denver's Favorite Airline," and those commercials are the best!! The crews are professional and very friendly, the fleet is new and comfortable.

FYI...check out the website www.frontierairlines.com and vote for "Denver's favorite Animal," it's a hoot!



Military Jet Noise--the Sound of Freedom!
User currently offlineRDUDDJI From Lesotho, joined Jun 2004, 1516 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5234 times:

Quoting Flashmeister (Thread starter):
Question to those who might know: I wasn't able to find anything about an official announcement from the DOT or FAA on this... anyone know where the definitive list of DOT-designated major airlines might exist on the Web?

Better question: What defines a "major" airline? #pax/#flights/#RSM/#ASM/etc...



Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
User currently offlineBoeing757/767 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2282 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5207 times:

Major carrier status is defined as $1 Billion annual revenues. Please correct me if I am mistaken.


Free-thinking, left-leaning secularist
User currently offlineMSYtristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5194 times:

I'm sure F9 will put a major focus on its MBR (Mishandled Baggage Ratio) now that it will be compared with the other majors. When I was there I remember they always said "good thing we're not a major yet because we'd be near the bottom of MBR." Perhaps things have changed.

User currently offlineAirEMS From United States of America, joined May 2004, 684 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5172 times:

Congrats to F9! May their good fortune continue and may we have no more blizzards in DEN


-Carl



If Your Dying Were Flying
User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2901 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5002 times:
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Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 4):
I'm sure F9 will put a major focus on its MBR (Mishandled Baggage Ratio) now that it will be compared with the other majors. When I was there I remember they always said "good thing we're not a major yet because we'd be near the bottom of MBR." Perhaps things have changed.

This apparently is not the case. According to the November DOT numbers as posted by Holly Hegeman on her PlaneBusiness Banter list, Frontier had 4.44 mishandled baggage reports per 1,000 passengers. It ranked 6th of 20 major, national, and regional carriers in baggage handling.

Their rating compared favorably to those of some other majors (higher numbers indicate more mishandled baggage per 1,000 pax). For instance, American was rated at 5.41, Southwest at 5.46, Delta at 6.72, and US Airways at 7.11. Frontier finished behind Aloha, Hawaiian, AirTran, Continental, and jetBlue.


User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25431 posts, RR: 86
Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4962 times:
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Congratulations to Frontier.

It's been a heck of a journey, and there have been a few times when it didn't look as if they were going to make it.

The crisis of the aborted merger with Westpac nearly killed Frontier - it was only an emergency loan from Wexford Capital of $5 million that kept 'em flying.

$5 million? Sounds like peanuts today.

Things got a lot better after that, and Frontier started to make good money.

Next real shock was the Airbus order. As a small, new airline, Frontier was paying through the nose for its leased 737's and needed to get a better deal.

They thought (and we all did) they would be going with Boeing, but Boeing played hardball and Frontier turned to Airbus.

That was a shock - not only the order but the cost - it was a lot of money for a small airline.

The first A319 was delivered in 2001, which became a watershed year for Frontier.

CEO Sam Addoms retired, and the COO, Jeff Potter assumed command - just
a few months before 9/11.

9/11 came very close to killing Frontier. They were high on everyone's list of airlines that wouldn't survive. At the very least, the analysts said, they would have to cancel the Airbus order.

It didn't happen. The planes kept coming and Frontier kept flying and in 2002 they were profitable while several majors were not.

But 2002 had problems. It was thought the airlines were recovering from 9/11, but summer 2002 proved to be a real fizz - business was dreadful for everyone.

Meanwhile, Frontier announced service to Mexico, which caused junior heart failure among some - they were breaking the LCC model! LCC's don't fly international!

The first Mexico routes were DEN-CUN and DEN-MZT. It was supposed to be DEN-SJD as well, but that didn't happen until the following year.

(The filing with the DOT showed DEN-SJD-MZT-DEN - that would have been fun).

The original load factors on the two Mexican routes were spectacular and set the stage for the Mexican expansion was to come.

LAX, however, was not spectacular. In one of the great pieces of bad luck timing, Frontier announced LAX as a focus city - just as the price of crude oil started to go through the roof.

One LAX route was a neat disaster - LAX-MSP. Northwest went nuclear, expanded service on LAX-MSP and MSP-DEN, dropped fares - and, crucially, added DEN-LAX.

It didn't take long. With DEN-LAX under assault, Frontier got the message and, like JetBlue at ATL, quickly dropped LAX-MSP.

LAX-STL and LAX-MCI were doing better, but not well enough to cope with the surging price of oil, so the LAX focus city was gone.

But not forgotten.

It was a rough ride for a while, but just when Frontier seemed to be getting a balance, three hurricanes happened:

Katrina destroyed New Orleans, but what hit Frontier was Wilma - which came close to destroying Cancun, which was almost a focus city for Frontier.

On top of which, Southwest announced service at DEN, which had a hurricane effect on Frontier. Most analysts wondered how Frontier could survive and Mike Boyd flat out stated that Southwest was planning to take Frontier out - "Southwest has put a target on Frontier's back".

But - Frontier has survived. Again. It's been a rocky year, but that hasn't stopped Mr. Potter. In the middle of the year we got news of what may be the most interesting expansion in the airline's history, with the setting up of Lynx and the replacement of Horizon as Jet Express.

All that will happen in 2007, but meanwhile, nature had another nasty trick - the two blizzards at DEN, which closed the airport and crippled the airlines flying there.

So - looking back - when you consider was has happened in the industry since 9/11, the surprise is not that Frontier has become a major - the surprise is that Frontier has survived at all.

Jeff Potter must sometimes wonder what he did to have the gods throw all their lightning bolts at him since he took over.

But here they are - a major airline, and all the folk at Frontier can be proud of what they have achieved.

I look forward to 2007 and wonder what more surprises there will be. I know it won't be dull.

 Smile

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineMSYtristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4946 times:

Quoting Mariner (Reply 7):
Katrina destroyed New Orleans

But, like the Phoenix, we have risen from the ashes my friend.  Wink

Quoting Mariner (Reply 7):
But here they are - a major airline, and all the folk at Frontier can be proud of what they have achieved.

Absoultely. Lots of hard working folks in Frontierland. They deserve all the success.


User currently offlineB6WNQX From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 246 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4940 times:

Great analysis Mariner...always insightful!

User currently offlineMkorpal From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 90 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4916 times:

Congrats to my favorite airline. I can't wait to see the animals on the E170 and Q400's this year. Plus a few new airbuses. And soon enough we will be adding the A320's.

User currently offlineKnope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2948 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4890 times:

Quoting Boeing757/767 (Reply 3):
Major carrier status is defined as $1 Billion annual revenues. Please correct me if I am mistaken.



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 4):
I'm sure F9 will put a major focus on its MBR (Mishandled Baggage Ratio) now that it will be compared with the other majors. When I was there I remember they always said "good thing we're not a major yet because we'd be near the bottom of MBR." Perhaps things have changed.

Yep, the definition of a "Major" airline is revenues over $1 billion. That has been the threshold for quite a few years (not raised for inflation in a long time) and so a number of largest regional airlines are also well over the "major" status, including Skywest and ExpressJet.

The requirment to report stats to the DoT is not based on revenue or on "major" status, but instead is required for any airline which carries at least 1.0% of the total US air traffic, measured (if I recall correctly) in revenue passenger miles. I don't *think* Frontier is quite at that level, but it doesn't matter much because they have voluntarily submitted their information each month for the past year or so. Aloha also does so voluntarily.

At any rate, congrats to Frontier!


User currently offlineSANFan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 5472 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4831 times:

Nicely done, Frontier! As Mariner said it so well, many uphill battles over the years but they kept climbing and have officially reached the rarefied air at the top - at least a Mile High I would suppose!  Wink

I look forward to more smart, controlled growth and for crying out loud, I hope they don't run out of animals!

bb


User currently offlineGraphic From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 9 months 6 days ago) and read 4727 times:

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 8):

But, like the Phoenix, we have risen from the ashes my friend.

Tell that to the 9th ward...

Quoting Mariner (Reply 7):

Great story man, thanks for sharing!


User currently offlineSkyexRamper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4714 times:

Way to go Frontier, they're the best carrier to take going west! That's impressive to hit Major status when they are still a smaller airline.

User currently onlineSLCUT2777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 4107 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4664 times:

Quoting Mariner (Reply 7):
Next real shock was the Airbus order. As a small, new airline, Frontier was paying through the nose for its leased 737's and needed to get a better deal.

They thought (and we all did) they would be going with Boeing, but Boeing played hardball and Frontier turned to Airbus.

That was a shock - not only the order but the cost - it was a lot of money for a small airline.

The first A319 was delivered in 2001, which became a watershed year for Frontier.

Like B6, I think F9 was wise to go with Airbus on this one since the A320 and it's smaller models can do very well for a small LCC. I like the A318 and A319, for the typical flights F9 does. They do very well up against the likes of DL, UA and WN on the highly competitive SLC-DEN run. SLC-DCA via DEN for $385.00 (USD) is pretty good I would say. DL can't match that direct or either via ATL, CVG, or even JFK for that matter.
Along with B6, F9 has made my list of LCC alternatives to WN and FL!



DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
User currently offlineMSYtristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4627 times:

Quoting Graphic (Reply 13):
Tell that to the 9th ward...

Obviously I was talking about the New Orleans region as a whole, and also in terms of support for air service....surely the lower 9 and other spots are coming back much more slowly than others thanks to the incredible damage, but much progress has been made.


User currently onlineSLCUT2777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 4107 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4605 times:

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 14):
Way to go Frontier, they're the best carrier to take going west! That's impressive to hit Major status when they are still a smaller airline.

Look at the livery they use and the age of the aircraft and it says it all:



DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
User currently offlineAirEMS From United States of America, joined May 2004, 684 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4535 times:

Quoting Mariner (Reply 7):
Jeff Potter must sometimes wonder what he did to have the gods throw all their lightning bolts at him since he took over.

I think that some of their good fortune is contained in the fact that F9 brought alot of the the old FL people back... These employees had and still have HUGE pride in where they work.. My Dad has always said that he wasn't a employee of FL he was a family member!

When F9 started I think they were very smart to bring these people back. I also think that there were quite a few passengers who came back to F9 due to brand loyalty and the fact that UA was the only major player at DIA after CO scaled back.

Again congrats to a great airline that holds true to it's name!
-Carl

Oh and Mariner... Great post!



If Your Dying Were Flying
User currently offlineFlyibaby From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1017 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4468 times:

Quoting AirEMS (Reply 18):
think that some of their good fortune is contained in the fact that F9 brought alot of the the old FL people back...

I assume you meant the old Frontier people back..right?


User currently offlineMkorpal From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 90 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4435 times:

F9 has always been an aggressive airline. They have never backed away from competition (getting a significant portion of the DEN market from UAL) and they never do the ordinary (lcc flying international, building up after 9/11). So, what do you think they will do next. In all honesty, I would not be too surprised if I woke up to find that they had ordered a bunch of A340-500 and were beginning long haul international service from DEN. I doubt that would ever happen, but it would not surprise me too much with this airline.

User currently offlineAirportGuy1971 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 355 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4409 times:

Quoting Flyibaby (Reply 19):
I assume you meant the old Frontier people back..right?

The "old FL" was Frontier I. FL was used by them before Airtran.


User currently offlineBurnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7554 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4364 times:

Quoting Mariner (Reply 7):
It didn't take long. With DEN-LAX under assault, Frontier got the message and, like JetBlue at ATL, quickly dropped LAX-MSP.

It wasn't a message from NW, it was a message from Consumers as well, Frontier was flying typically with a 14% load factor and flight attendents often said they would have less then 10 people on the flights.



"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25431 posts, RR: 86
Reply 23, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4320 times:
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Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 22):
It wasn't a message

Um - the sentence just says that Frontier got the message, it doesn't say who the message was from.

But one does have to wonder why "the Consumers" sent that message on LAX-MSP, but didn't send the same message on LAX-MCI or LAX-STL.

NWA had announced the retailation within about 36 hours of Frontier announcing the service, including the killer DEN-LAX - which is what really killed LAX-MSP.

Nor were NWA's load factors any too pretty on the common routes for that period of time. Look how quickly NWA cancelled the retaliation frequencies after Frontier pulled out - as well as cancelling DEN-LAX.

  

mariner

[Edited 2007-01-25 02:00:21]


aeternum nauta
User currently offlineMCOflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 8683 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (7 years 9 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4289 times:

Congrats to Frontier as they are a good airline to fly. My parents fly them to Vegas and wouldnt hesitate to do it again.

MCOflyer



Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
25 Post contains images AirEMS : Thanks AirportGuy1971 you beat me to it Yes I was Nooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!! I want a 772 for F9! (I know that, that is a real long shot since Boein
26 Post contains images WestJetYQQ : Haha. Im sittin up here in YQQ (Comox, BC) watching the TV and wishing we had those Denver style Blizzards. I seem to have different opinions than ot
27 Post contains images AirEMS : You can have all of the Colorado Snow you want..... In fact you can or well could go to ebay and bid on some -Carl
28 WestJetYQQ : Hmmm, it just wouldn't be the same.
29 Post contains images Eagle11 : Great news for F9! Certainly a lot of hard work by all the employees went into making the carrier what it is today. Some good business decisions and a
30 F9fan : Good to see F9 finally join the big boys. F9Fan
31 AirEMS : I have wondered about this question for a while... Let say if the first Frontier (FL) had not gone down.. and had survived 9/11 could you at this poin
32 Floridaflyboy : Agreed. It's been the will of the people of that company that has pushed it to where it is. That's one thing I love about traveling on F9. You can te
33 Pdxcof9 : Yay frontier!!! I love those campaign commercials. And I voted!! Everyone should vote!!!
34 Post contains images HPAEAA : uhhhhh......... the DOT definition was the only one I've ever heard.... well technicaly B6 has done so for a while as well.....
35 Mli717fan : On a related note, I was on Airtran's website today looking at flights, and I noticed they have F9 destinations on there as well. You can book flights
36 WepaMan : That is a Great news... Congradulation From The LiveTV Team, wishing you and your Customer only but the BEST....
37 Pdxcof9 : That would be a long trip if you don't start in denver. For example if you want to go to BOS from SLC you'd have to go to denver, atlanta, then bosto
38 ScottB : It's based on domestic scheduled revenues, not RPM's, but you're correct about the 1% threshold. Actually, Frontier did hit the 1% reporting requirem
39 AirFrnt : It's fun having our own little David here in Denver to keep UA's Goliath honest. I recently did my first international trip with F9 and I was presentl
40 Mkorpal : Now that would be crazy. The problem would be gate space at DEN. Since there are only two gates big enough to hold a heavy jet in concourse A, they w
41 ScottB : Perhaps more appropriately worded as "first of the current set of American LCC's to serve Europe on a scheduled basis," since PeoplExpress and Tower
42 Knope2001 : Ahh...thanks for the information!
43 IOEAOK : There are four international arrivals gates on the north side concourse A, all of which can accommodate heavy aircraft. Additionally, concourse A was
44 Mkorpal : Thanks for the correction. I thought two of them were set up to handle large jets while the other two were not. Now, if they were to ever get into th
45 IOEAOK : It's fun to dream, isn't it? I'd put my money on 787s first, A350s second. But if F9 service to Europe or Asia does happen, I imagine it will be seve
46 AirFrnt : Any of the north facing gates at DEN (with the exception of the last node on the east and west) can be used for international. The four international
47 IOEAOK : I agree. And I sure do hope it's Frontier!
48 Mkorpal : That would be a possibility. It's also the only aircraft they could get before 2010.
49 AirFrnt : I honestly don't see it happening much before then anyways. That being said, this is a bet the company type decision. But I could see F9 putting in a
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