Frontier adds Burbank as part of 4-route expansion in California

May 13, 2021

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Frontier Airlines will expand to Burbank as part of a broader expansion in Southern California.

Frontier will begin flying from Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) on July 15 with service to three destinations: Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS) and Phoenix (PHX).

The budget carrier will also expand its presence elsewhere in the L.A. Basin, growing at Ontario International Airport with a new route to Atlanta (ATL) and additional frequencies on existing service to Denver.

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But it’s Frontier’s move to add Burbank to its map that’ll likely draw the most attention.

The airport is a popular secondary airport for the L.A. area, located about 15 miles from downtown Los Angeles and about 30 from the region’s primary airport, Los Angeles International (LAX).

BUR had been among the nation’s hardest-hit big airports during the pandemic. Its airline seat capacity for July 2021 is down by 31.5% from July 2019, according to an OAG analysis of scheduled seats. That ties Burbank with San Francisco (SFO) for the biggest decline during that period.

However, those cuts also have paved the way for some carriers to give Burbank another look.

More: Frontier expands again, takes on American, United in Dallas and Chicago

Most notable among those is Avelo, the nation’s newest budget airline that began flying just two weeks ago. Its maiden flight (recap here) came April 28, when it launched the first of 11 routes it will fly from Burbank.

“We wouldn’t have had Burbank but for the pandemic,” Avelo founder and CEO Andrew Levy told TPG in the lead-up to the carrier’s launch. “I didn’t think we would start in Burbank, but there were so many cutbacks.”

Since then, there have been other additions at BUR as carriers respond to the new competition from Avelo. That includes a new route by Alaska Airlines (to Santa Rosa, California) that’s all but certain to be aimed at Avelo. American also has added flights and bigger planes on its service to Phoenix (PHX) that overlaps with Avelo’s flights from BUR to Mesa/Phoenix (AZA).

Now, Frontier is the latest to sense an opportunity at BUR following cuts made by other carriers.

More: Startup airline Avelo was going to launch in the East, but it went West to capitalize on rivals’ cuts in California

Still, it will face competition on all three of its new routes there. Both Southwest and United fly from BUR to Denver while three carriers each already fly nonstop from BUR to both Las Vegas (JSX, Southwest and Spirit) and Phoenix Sky Harbor and Phoenix (American, JSX, Southwest)). Avelo’s service from BUR to Mesa/Phoenix launched just last week.

For Frontier, Burbank will give it a third airport in the greater Los Angeles area. The airline already flies from Los Angeles and Ontario, which sits about 40 miles east of downtown L.A.

“Frontier offers a robust flight schedule in Southern California and the addition of Burbank will provide an even more convenient and easy to use option for many in the region seeking affordable fares and friendly service to a variety of popular destinations,” Josh Flyr, Frontier’s vice president of network and operational design, said in a statement.

More: Everything you should know before flying Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines’ new routes in Southern California

  • Burbank-Denver: Begins July 15 (daily service, year-round)
  • Burbank-Las Vegas: Begins July 15 (daily service, year-round)
  • Burbank-Phoenix: Begins July 15 (daily service, year-round)
  • Ontario-Atlanta: Begins July 16 (4 times weekly, seasonal through January 2022)
  • Ontario-Denver: Existing route, but additional flights begin July 15 (from daily service to 11 weekly flights)

Featured photo by AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images.

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