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November 24, 2014

Frontier Adds to the Herd with Order of Nine Airbus A321 Aircraft

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Written by: David Lynn
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Frontier Airlines is continuing its development into an ultra-low cost carrier with an order of nine Airbus A321 aircraft. Known for their animal adorned tail flashes, this is Frontier’s first order of the largest member of the A320 family.

Frontier started its transition to an all-Airbus fleet in 2001 and currently operates a fleet of 35 A319 and 20 A320 aircraft. It also has 89 Airbus single aircraft on order, including 80 A320neo aircraft.

It really isn’t that surprising to see Frontier utilize the A320 family of aircraft as it competes in the low cost sector of the airline industry. The success of JetBlue alone has demonstrated the incredible versatility and utility of this family of aircraft when it comes to offering low fares on a plane that still provides a quality flight experience.

“We continue to come back for more A320 Family aircraft because they fulfill our mission of providing low fares through low operating costs,” said David Siegel, Frontier Airlines CEO. The A321 is a natural fit with our unique brand of Low Fares, Done Right and will continue to help meet our customers’ expectations for a safe and reliable travel experience while allowing us to provide low fare service to more of the country.”

Adding the A321 to its fleet gives Frontier an aircraft option with an increased seating capacity as well as additional range as it continues to develop its position in the ultra-low cost sector. With the announcement last week that Frontier will be reducing the number of flights that operate into and out of Denver, these new aircraft will open up opportunities to focus operations in areas that are less centralized than its Denver hub.

The A321 offers a seating capacity of up to 220, which is comparable to many widebody aircraft while maintaining the Airbus standard of at least 18-inch wide seats. This increased capacity as compared to the A319 (156 seats) and A320 (180 seats) allow the A321 to offer the best seat mile costs of any single-aisle aircraft.

Ultra-low cost carriers operate on such razor thin margins that they must maximize their efficiency in every way possible, so acquiring the A321 only makes sense. It will be interesting to see where exactly these aircraft go into service and how they aid Frontier as their operations become less focused on Denver and move to less centralized locations.

The engine option and seating configuration that Frontier will utilize were not part of the announcement.

David Lynn is a C-130 navigator in the USAF and a proud avgeek. You can follow him on twitter @davidvlynn or via his blog AviationGuy.com.



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