Frontier unveils 16 new routes in big South Florida expansion

Nov 30, 2021

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Frontier Airlines is spreading its wings in South Florida, with a slew of new routes to the Sunshine State.

The Denver-based carrier will once again land in Fort Lauderdale (FLL) early next year with 12 routes, most of which are to destinations in the Northeast.

Frontier will also add a new pin to its route map at Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (BQN), along with two new routes to San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU), and three to Cancun, Mexico (CUN), early next year.

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Headlining Frontier’s latest growth is the South Florida expansion. The Denver-based carrier added Miami to its route map in 2014 and has since classified the city as one of its hubs. Frontier opened a new crew base there last year and now flies to 33 destinations, according to Cirium schedule data.

While Frontier is labeling Fort Lauderdale as a new destination in its press release, the airline last flew there in April 2020 at the outset of the pandemic. In fact, two of the 12 new FLL routes were previously served by Frontier before the pandemic (Islip, New York, and Trenton, New Jersey).

A carrier spokesperson told TPG that “we are returning to FLL with a robust schedule of 12 nonstop routes based on the continued strong demand we see in South Florida for affordable air travel.”

Frontier’s Fort Lauderdale routes. (Image courtesy of Cirium)

Reopening its outstation in Fort Lauderdale — located just about 30 miles from Miami — might surprise some travelers, especially because the airline already serves 10 of the 12 FLL destinations from Miami, according to Cirium data.

However, South Florida has been an attractive destination throughout the pandemic, thanks to its year-round sunshine, a plethora of outdoor activities and relaxed COVID-19 policies. Airlines nationwide have been adding more flights to points all around the Sunshine State, and Frontier’s latest growth seemingly fits into the broader theme of pandemic-era expansion in Florida.

But the move also comes just weeks after rival discounter Spirit Airlines entered Miami with a whopping 30 routes. Spirit operates a megahub in Fort Lauderdale and is poised to become the second-largest carrier in Miami after its expansion there is complete.

While this isn’t necessarily a tit-for-tat move from Frontier — only two of its new FLL routes are operated by Spirit — it does feel like a competitive play to entrench itself in Fort Lauderdale.

As for the six other new routes, Cancun and Puerto Rico are the big winners. The airline will expand its service from Cancun to Hartford, Connecticut (BDL); Buffalo, New York (BUF); and Providence (PVD), bringing its total destinations served from this popular leisure city to over 20.

These latest routes keep fast-expanding Frontier in growth mode. Over the summer, the airline announced two big enlargements, including 20 new routes and five new cities followed by 15 new routes and one new international destination. That followed a springtime expansion spree in which Frontier announced 32 routes and eight new cities during a two-week stretch in April.

It hasn’t exclusively been good news for Frontier, though.

Come early next year, both Newark (EWR) and Washington Dulles (IAD) will lose service from Frontier Airlines. The carrier’s senior vice president of commercial, Daniel Shurz, blamed the decision on high operating costs at these two airports.

Additionally, earlier this year, the Denver-based carrier pulled out of Los Angeles (LAX) and San Jose, California (SJC), and instead consolidated its operations at nearby airports.

Frontier Airlines’ latest nonstop routes

Cancun (CUN)

  • Hartford, Connecticut (BDL): Service begins Feb. 17; three times weekly.
  • Buffalo, New York (BUF): Service begins Feb. 18; three times weekly.
  • Providence, Rhode Island (PVD): Service begins Feb. 19; one time weekly.

Fort Lauderdale (FLL)

  • Atlanta (ATL): Service begins Feb. 17; daily flights.
  • Buffalo, New York (BUF): Service begins Feb. 17; daily flights.
  • Islip, New York (ISP): Service begins Feb. 17; daily flights.
  • Orlando (MCO): Service begins Feb. 17; daily flights.
  • Philadelphia (PHL): Service begins Feb. 17; daily flights.
  • Providence (PVD): Service begins Feb. 17; daily flights.
  • Stewart, New York (SWF): Service begins Feb. 17; three times weekly.
  • Trenton, New Jersey (TTN): Service begins Feb. 17; daily flights.
  • Albany, New York (ALB): Service begins Feb. 18; three times weekly.
  • Rochester, New York (ROC): Service begins Feb. 18; two times weekly.
  • Green Bay, Wisconsin (GRB): Service begins Feb. 19; one time weekly.
  • Portland, Maine (PWM): Service begins Feb. 19; one time weekly.

San Juan (SJU)

  • Boston (BOS): Service begins Feb. 17; four times weekly.
  • Hartford, Connecticut (BDL): Service begins Feb. 18; three times weekly.

Aguadilla (BQN)

  • Orlando (MCO): Service begins March 24; three times weekly.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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