Frontier Launches Flights From Newark and JFK

Skift Take

Frontier’s routes in two of New York’s biggest airports signals a shift in strategy as it moves some of its capacity away from over-served leisure markets.

Frontier Airlines is adding New York to its network. The ultra-low-cost carrier announced Tuesday that it would operate flights out of Newark and JFK to San Juan, starting in June. 

The new routes also mark Frontier’s return to Newark after a two-year absence. Frontier initially pulled out of Newark in 2022, with its former senior vice president of commercial citing high operating costs. This is the first time Frontier will operate out of JFK, flying twice daily to San Juan. 

Out of Newark, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines also operate flights to San Juan. And at JFK, Frontier will be competing with Delta Air Lines and JetBlue. The ultra-low-cost carrier is selling fares to Puerto Rico’s capital starting at $59. 

Frontier also added routes from Phoenix to Los Cabos and Orange County’s John Wayne Airport to San Francisco as part of the network expansion. 

A New Route Strategy for Frontier

The addition of routes out of New York’s two biggest airports are part of Frontier’s efforts to refocus its network as it grapples with an oversupply in popular leisure markets. 

Due to the oversupply of seats in leisure markets, ultra-low-cost carriers like Frontier reported a loss in the fourth-quarter and had to slash fares to record low prices to fill their planes. 

Frontier CEO Barry Biffle said the carrier doesn’t “make money” on the routes that JetBlue, Southwest and Spirit also operate. 

“What happened is that the low cost beat the low cost, right?” Biffle said at the JPMorgan Industrials conference March 12. “We opened Sam’s Club, a Target, a Costco and a Walmart, all on the same block in Florida.”

Now, Frontier is hoping to shift some capacity away from places like Florida and Las Vegas, with Biffle saying the carrier has decided to expand in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and San Juan. 

In particular, Frontier believes visiting friends and family routes — known as “VFR” — could boost its revenue since the carrier plans to charge more for those routes. Biffle previously said during a call with analysts that VFR routes can be priced at $15 to $20 more than the service Frontier is replacing. 

Go to Source...