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Fast-growing Frontier Airlines takes delivery of 100th Airbus

July 29, 2020
4 min read
Fast-growing Frontier Airlines takes delivery of 100th Airbus
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Despite the pandemic ravaging the aviation industry, there are still airlines in growth mode.

Frontier Airlines said on Wednesday that it took delivery of the 100th aircraft to its all-Airbus fleet. The milestone aircraft: an A320neo from Airbus' assembly line in Mobile, Alabama.

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The Denver-based carrier's milestone comes as the company is adopting a bullish approach compared to its other competitors, especially many airlines worldwide are electing to retire their aircraft. Frontier is welcoming this new jet despite planning to fly about 80% to 90% of what it planned pre-pandemic by the end of 2020.

Recent new routes announced by Frontier include new service between Miami (MIA) and Providence (PVD) that will start Dec. 17 and nonstop flights between Las Vegas (LAS) and Long Island’s MacArthur Airport (ISP) that will launch on March 18, 2021. Frontier also hoping to increase the number of flights it offers from Cincinnati (CVG) and Orlando (MCO).

Review: Flying on Frontier's A320neo from Miami to Newark

The airline has reasons to be hopeful despite the potential of the ongoing pandemic. Unlike the Big Three airlines, Frontier targets leisure flyers as its main customer base, and it's that segment of the market that has helped drive a modest rebound in passenger traffic this summer. The carrier is expecting its flights to be 70% full for June.

"We're pretty pleased with the recovery so far," Frontier CEO Barry Biffle told TPG's Edward Russell in an exclusive interview.

Still, there is concern that Frontier and other U.S. carriers may struggle to hold on to any positive momentum from the summer. Leisure travel typically decreases after Labor Day and few expect business travel to fill the void as it does in normal years. For now, Frontier has tried to entice travelers by running flash deals with fares as low as $11 for one-way flights.

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More: TPG's exclusive interview with Frontier's CEO

More broadly, Biffle also believes the carrier's coronavirus strategy has helped to retain customers. From becoming the first carrier to screen flyers' temperatures to introducing enhanced cleaning procedures for its planes, Frontier tried to address concerns that flyers would have about coronavirus — messaging that Biffle believes paid off with an uptick in business.

In the meantime, the airline still has 160 more A320 jets still in order until 2027. The airline is planning to take jets more slowly than originally planned because of temporary closures of Airbus assembly lines. The carrier is hoping to take nine A320neo deliveries for this year, which is six fewer than what executives had planned last year.

As plane taken by Frontier this week, there's also a question of what animal is gracing the plane.

Frontier, of course, is known for painting animals on the tails of its plane. It's milestone jet features "Chinook the Gray Wolf," which the carrier says "was a female wolf-dog hybrid that was rescued in 1993 hours before she was to be put down because of the ‘wolf-hybrid’ label."

Frontier says Chinook died in 2007, but became the impetus for the creation of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center. Now, she also lives on as part of Frontier's 100th aircraft.

Related: Why I prefer flying A320s to a Boeing 737

Frontier's 100th aircraft -- an Airbus A320 neo -- features "Chinook the Gray Wolf" on its tail. Chinook, according to Frontier, was a female wolf-dog hybrid rescued in the 1990s. (Image courtesy of Frontier Airlines)

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023