Frontier Airlines Boosts International Flying Out Of Atlanta Base

Credit: Airbus/David Velupillai

Frontier Airlines is adding five international destinations to its growing Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (ATL) station, part of a long-term push to boost capacity across its network.

The ULCC will launch flights between Atlanta and Nassau (NAS), Bahamas; San Salvador (SAL), El Salvador; Kingston (KIN), Jamaica; and both San Jose (SJO) and Liberia (LIR), Costa Rica. Four of the routes will start in November, with Liberia being added in December. Nassau and Liberia will be once per week, while the other three will be flown twice weekly. All of the routes will be seasonal, the airline confirmed.

Frontier’s expansion gives it eight international destinations out of ATL and 36 total nonstop destinations, ranking the station fourth for total nonstop routes in the carrier’s upcoming winter schedule, behind Denver, Orlando, and Las Vegas.

Alongside the Atlanta expansion, Frontier has announced two other network additions for the forthcoming winter season. From Orlando ({{MCO}}), the ULCC plans to begin a 2X-weekly service to Guadalajara ({{GDL}}) in Mexico, and from Denver ({{DEN}}), a 3X-weekly route to West Palm Beach ({{PBI}}) will begin. Both routes are slated to start on Nov. 6.

The new routes are part of a longer-term strategy that has the carrier growing available seat miles 30% in 2023, due to a mix of higher utilization and fleet growth, Frontier SVP of commercial Daniel Shurz said on a late July earnings call.

“Going forward after that, we already have a fleet plan that provides for 15% to 20% a year growth,” Shurz added.

Frontier ended the 2022 second quarter (Q2) with 114 aircraft and expects to take 12 more by year-end, including its first of 158 Airbus A321neos on order.

“We’re pretty confident in the growth [plans],” Frontier President and CEO Barry Biffle said. “Obviously, we’ll reevaluate that if there were a deeper recession than what we’re seeing. But so far, the demand looks very good, and we’ve seen some seasonal changes, but nothing major.”

Frontier helped set the stage for its growth by hiring pilots and flight attendants earlier than needed. The airline also unveiled a partnership with ATP Flight School to help feed its pilot ranks.

“I think we would be the last airline to stop hiring, or even slow hiring, because when you’re the lowest-cost producer in the space, you’re the first one that should be growing,” Biffle said.

Sean Broderick

Senior Air Transport & Safety Editor Sean Broderick covers aviation safety, MRO, and the airline business from Aviation Week Network's Washington, D.C. office.