Skip to main content

Frontier Airlines Makes Aggressive Moves After Failed Spirit Bid

The discount air carrier is counting on changes to boost its competitive position.

Earlier this summer, Frontier Airlines was set to merge with its rvial budget flier Spirit Airlines, creating a modest giant of relatively low-cost airfare.

However, Spirit shareholders rejected Frontier's $19.99 per share bid for Spirit  (SAVE) - Get Free Report, and instead the company was purchased by JetBlue  (JBLU) - Get Free Report for $33.50 a share, or $3.8 billion dollars, pending Federal regulatory review. The merger would create the fifth-largest airline in the world. Spirit will pay around $25 million in merger-related costs to Frontier  (ULCC) - Get Free Report, which said it was "disappointed" with the vote result.

If the merger is approved, JetBlue’s fleet will increase to 458 aircraft.

It seems possible that Spirit’s may lose the rock bottom fares that are the only thing people begrudgingly like about the service. 

Frontier was all-in on the deal, but while Spirit management was reportedly all for it, shareholders went a different way. 

"While we are disappointed that Spirit Airlines shareholders failed to recognize the value and consumer potential inherent in our proposed combination, the Frontier Board took a disciplined approach throughout the course of its negotiations with Spirit," said Frontier CEO William Franke. 

"As we enter our next chapter, Frontier remains well-positioned to deliver significant value to our shareholders as we serve the growing demand for affordable air travel."

Spirit and Frontier are two of the most-well known budget travel airlines, both known for offering low base fares but then charging extra for everything else, including carry-on bags. 

But now that the merger isn’t going to happen, Frontier has picked itself up, dusted itself off and has announced its latest move.

What Is Frontier Airline Going To Do Next?

If Frontier can’t buy its closest competition, then it has decided that it will start flying to more areas.

As reported by The Points Guy, Frontier will debut five new international routes, which will all come with a base price that starts at $69 until 2023.

The new routes include flights out of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to the Bahamas, Costa Rica and Jamaica. Frontier has now more than doubled its international flights out of Atlanta in less than a year.

“This international expansion marks an exciting milestone for Frontier at ATL,” said Frontier senior vice president for customers Jake Filene. “We now offer an extensive range of flight options, including an impressive roster of international destinations, providing Atlanta-area consumers even more opportunities to enjoy our ‘Low Fares Done Right.’”

The company has also announced that it will offer a route between Denver International Airport (DEN) to Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). Previously, Southwest Airlines ran that route exclusively. 

Additionally, Frontier has announced a flight from Denver to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) in West Palm Beach in November for $69, but the flight must be booked by midnight on August 23. August 23 is also the cut-off date to book a flight from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Mexico’s Guadalajara International Airport (GDL) for $89.

So When Do These New Routes Begin, And How Often Do They Fly?

All the new international flights will begin in November, with the exception of the Liberia flight that starts on December 17.

  • Nassau, Bahamas: Service begins Nov. 5, with one flight each week. Prices start at $69.
  • San Salvador, El Salvador: Service begins Nov. 6, with twice-weekly flights. Prices start at $69.
  • Kingston, Jamaica: Service begins Nov. 7, with twice-weekly flights. Prices start at $89.
  • San Jose, Costa Rica: Service begins Nov. 17, with twice-weekly flights. Prices start at $79.
  • Liberia, Costa Rica: Service begins Dec. 17, with one flight each week. Prices start at $79.

All tickets must be purchased by August 23, and the fares are valid until February. It is not necessary to purchase a round-trip ticket.