Frontier to take on American Airlines in this key market

Every couple of months, an airline will announce a burst of new flights to a given destination. 

This depends a lot on flying data and whatever destination is particularly popular at a given moment. Both U.S.-based and European airlines have been setting major sights on Austin, Texas, in 2021 (this strategy later proved to be overly optimistic) while JetBlue Airways  (JBLU)  and Frontier  (FRON)  followed each other with launching several routes to different parts of Puerto Rico in the spring of 2024.

Related: Delta adds a route U.S. tourists have been begging for

The budget carrier Frontier is once again adding a spate of flights to a single destination. By May 2024, the airline will launch 10 new flights between Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) from different parts of the country.

A Frontier plane waits on the tarmac at an airport.


Airline CEO says ‘new routes span much of the country’

This marks a 47% increase in the airline’s service to the city and includes flights from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, Tennessee’s Knoxville, Ohio’s Columbus, Maine’s Portland and Florida’s Pensacola.

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“From the Midwest to the East Coast and from Maine to Florida, these new routes span much of the country and represent our continued commitment to growth from PHL,” Frontier CEO Barry Biffle said in a press statement. “In fact, PHL will see the second largest increase in daily departures on Frontier this summer among our major operational bases.”

The routes predicted to be the most popular, including those between Philadelphia and Chicago and Detroit, will run every day while the less in-demand ones will operate three times a week. Other cities to which Frontier will start flying from Philadelphia include St. Louis, Kansas City and Indianapolis.

To promote the sale, Frontier is offering customers these super-low fares

At the moment, American Airlines  (AAL)  is the carrier that has the biggest hub in the City of Brotherly Love. It runs over 110 flights out of the city to different destinations across the country and, in August 2023, added three new international routes to Copenhagen, Nice and Naples.

When announcing the new routes last year, American executives called it an “incredible opportunity” to expand its network of flights to the city before the sports fans start descending upon it for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and FIFA World Cup matches taking place in 2026. The latter, in particular, will bring large crowds of European fans to Philadelphia.

While its only international destinations so far are to nearby tropical countries, Frontier will also reach a peak of 44 daily departures from Philadelphia by the summer of 2024. To promote the new routes and stand out from competitors like American, the budget airline is offering $19 fares on the new routes for those who book their tickets early.

One will be able to find the low rates by going directly to the airline’s website and searching by destination and travel date — the lowest rates are generally between the nearest cities and for flights leaving on weekdays but promotional fares will apply to all the new flights before they start running in the coming months.

In the past, Frontier has done such a route expansion in cities including Cleveland and Chicago’s smaller but more central Midway Airport (MDW).

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